The first time I saw Winona Ryder was in the movie "Mermaids" with Cher. She played her daughter who was obsessed with Catholicism. She constantly judged her mother for dating inappropriate men and challenged her mother's morals. Her acting was poignant and powerful especially the moment when she thought she was being punished by God for getting pregnant. She received a golden globe nomination for best-supporting actress.
She did back to back movies for several years she wound up withdrawing from Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather Part III. She was supposed to play Michael Corleone's daughter. Six months later she signed on to play in one of my personal favorites, Bram Stoker's Dracula. She played Mina Murray, Dracula's love interest. Her exceptional beauty and femininity made her perfect for this Gothic love story. She starred with Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, and Gary Goldman. It was by far the most cinematically stunning Dracula movie by far. I read an article in Vanity Fair that said that makeup artists never had to put foundation on her because her complexion was like porcelain.In 1995 she read a book by Susannah Kaysen called "Girl, Interrupted" She heard it was possibly going to be made into a movie. She signed on to produce the movie and to play the main character, Susannah Kaysen. At the time Winona was known as Hollywood s " It" girl. She got all of the male attention, people were always doting on her. There were several key female roles in the movie and once the director James Mangold who doid "Copland" came on board, many young upcoming actresses like Christina Ricci and Kate Hudson wanted to get on board.
Once the cast was chosen, in typical Hollywood fashion, the young, hot, new and interesting get all of the attention.Angelina Jolie was new in town. She was in an HBO special called " Gia" where she played a real life heroin addicted model who died of AIDS and a low budget movie called "Hackers."
Her performance in "Gia" was critically acclaimed and suddenly all of the attention was on Angelina. People forgot about Winona's performance. Winona's part was just as difficult and dark as Angelina's. Winona's character Susannah had a love/ hate relationship with Angelin'a s character "Lisa". She was trying to figure out how to get well and deal with Lisa's sociopathic behavior. Lisa had a kind of hypnotic control over over the other patient s in the mental hospital, and Susannah was her buffer. Susannah had to pick up the pieces after Lisa verbally abused the other patients.
Winona s performance in the basement where she confronts Lisa about reading her journal is outstanding. She completely demolishes Lisa's power by telling her "Nobody cares if you die because you are already dead inside!" Lisa breaks down and cries hysterically while Susannah suddenly realizes she wasted two years of her life in this awful place!!!
Watch it!! It's dark but there is a lot of light at the end of this tunnel and I'm so glad Winona is back in Netflix's " Stranger Things" The woman has got some serious talent!!