The Tim Burton's wife game


Wigs are art.



I watched Les Miserables, and want to make a Scolding Review of it but…won’t. Even though there’s plenty to rip on on it, I simply won’t. But something wonderful came up with the movie, and I want to bring it up.
See, when strange, bighaired women came out to egg on Ann Hathaway’s character to sell her teeth(and way to cheat on toothless singing  Ann Hathaway, Hollywood), I jokingly asked my sister if Tim Burton’s wife had shown up when I wasn’t looking. But later in the movie she did show up.
And it got me to thinking…how do these appearances by TBW stack up in terms of associated elements? How Timburtonwifetastical is each of these? That’s how I came up with a system  to measure it. I call it the Tim Burton’s Wife Game.
Each element  is given a mathematical strength factor, meant to be added up to a total amount of points. You COULD play it as a drinking game, but as each of these are  usually all in evidence by the time Johnny Depp is eating her brains, It’d likely be a fast and heavy game of alcohol poisoning.  What are our factors? Let’s see.


Tim Burton directs the movie.
You don’t get much points for this because Tim’s wife is in all of his movies ever since they got hooked up.
Is TBW’s hair an unruly mess?
I thought this was a Tim Burton thing, but it shows up in a lot of her non-nepoticalapearances. And franky if she isn’t   going for the natural “just woke up” look, she’s bald or sporting a crazy hair hat. What’s wrong with just…hair?

Is she really pale?
I know the woman’s got a pasty complexion, it’s just that most of the time instead of playing around it, they go straight to making her more pale or having  highly contrasting black eyeliner.
Is the movie set in the Victorian years?
“Because I brought a whole truck full of corsets and giant black unseemly wigs and I don’t want it to seem  out of place.”
Is her character affably amoral?
I think I’ve only ever seen TBW as a straight up good character in Big Fish, where she was king of thought of as a villain. When she’s not straight up evil(Sleepy Hollow, Terminator Salvation), she’s generally not an aid to the heroes. Either way, she’s usually some kind of awful person but kind of charming enough not to be immediately hateable.
She dies a horrible death.
Perphaps due to her propensity for the other variables, her characters as a rule often die horrible deaths.This is especially true in her husband’s movies, where again, with exceptions like Big Fish, Planet of the Apes and Corpse Bride her characters have to die, and it’s generally nasty ways like  being killed by a vampire, having your neck cut and being dumped down a laundry chute or being kissed by Christopher Walken. Wait, that last one might not be horrible.
It is a musical/has songs.
Regardless of whether she sings, or just sits it out, TBW’s movies tend to gravitate towards theatricality. This means the odds are good this at least has some songs in it.

Let’s apply this on any film she’s in and see how that works. Let’s say…Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation racks a lowly.2 points, on account of small screentime. Surely she died horribly either because of cancer or because of the whole “nuclear war on robots” thing. But if it’s not in the film it doesn’t count.

Let’s go for something a little more recent.
Dark Shadows lost a lot of points by opting to be set in the 70s, and not casting  TBW as a pale flapper or something. It racks up 6 points.
Harry Potter 7-1  suceeds in gaming the system by 6 points as well. Had they not stretch the plot thin, we might have seen TBW thrown  into a magical thrash compactor or whatever it is that happened in the final movie.

The consummate Tim Burton’s wife representation, Old Tim somehow managed to game the system to put his wife as the second-to-third most important character in  musical about Victorian England murderers.  The movie pulls a bingo and wins 15 points, the highest score possible.
But what about Les Miserables?

10. My incapacity to tell what Victorian actually is keeps me from awarding the pts for Victorianism(doesn’t count if it’s in France, right?), but it’s still pretty strong.  I encourage you to use this here blank card and check out how other films in her filmography and see how they compare. And remember that one day she’s gonna get cast in a Transformer film as Black Arachnia, and you’ll remember me, who never once uttered her full name, and throw up a little blessing to my person.

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