Am I the only one who prefers Gene Wilder's Willy to Johnny Depp's ? Tim Burton's version is, in many ways, superior: the songs, the mise-en-scene, the special effects, perhaps even the colour. But Wilder had an uncany, unexplained aura (call it mystery) mixed with a melancholy, that was more Sickert than sick. Depp, with his (dental) family drama is more mental than anything, weird when he should be wonderful, and poutingly adolescent when he should have been magical - next they'll be recasting Depp as Humbert Humbert, and making him the young one. Willy Wonka doesn't need a Freudian backstory. He transgresses and transcends the Oedipal struggle. Wilder made me shiver and was unfogettable. Depp's too lightweight here, all tics and homages to Jackson and Rogers. His greatest performance remains Ed Wood . Now that's weirdness well done.
POETRY, POLITICS, PROVOCATION AND POPULAR CULTURE SINCE 2005 - 18 YEARS AND over 5.8 million visits - British Library-archived