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Reading the news from Deadline about the new James Franco & Winona Ryder film The Stare, it's hard to miss the parallels to Ryder's 2010 film, Black Swan. Here's the plot description as they provide it:
A drama in which a playwright (Ryder) finds her mind beginning to warp as she struggles to launch her next production. She's plagued by dreams and visions of being watched, but can't decide if she's at the center of a manipulative plot or simply losing her grip on reality. Franco plays one of the performers in the playwright's production.
It basically seems like Ryder's chance to take on a role as challenging and out-there as Natalie Portman's in Black Swan, a parallel even funnier when you think about the fact that Ryder's character in the movie is being replaced by Portman's-- revenge of the ousted prima ballerina Beth! But thinking back even further, Ryder is the O.G. girl with possible delusions, an actress who's always done her best work occupying the fringes of rational human behavior. Let's take a look at the highlights: Best of Crazy Ryder:
-- 1988: Beetle Juice A 16-year-old goth girl who can see the dead and may or may not wind up marrying a gross, adult ghost.
--1990: Edward Scissorhands A teenage girl in a cookie-cutter suburb who falls for a boy with, uh, scissors for hands.
--1990: Mermaids An obsessive Catholic teenage girl who believes God is punishing her with pregnancy after kissing a boy.
--1997: THe Crucible An obsessive, adulterous teenage girl who accuses various people in her town of being witches out of nothing but spite.
--1999: Girl, Interrupted I mean, she's in a mental hospital. But maybe she's the sanest one! Or maybe the craziest! Either way, mental hospital is kind of the definition of fringes of society.
--2010: Black Swan A ballerina past her prime who openly threatens the new girl-- and may or may not stab her in a hospital room. OK, that probably didn't happen.
So you see, Winona Ryder was playing women losing their grip on the real world long before Natalie Portman strapped on a pair of toe shoes, and as she makes what's looking like a real comeback, Ryder is returning to what she does best: being just a little crazy. We couldn't be happier to see her back in the swing of things.