Ed (Matthew McConaughey) is a normal guy; in his thirties, working in a video shop, hanging out with his family, especially his brother, Ray (Woody Harrelson) and his girlfriend, Shari (Jenna Elfman). Then a television station has a competition to find a face for their new reality television show, and suddenly, they are all on tv, 24-hours-per-day. It’s exciting until it starts to cause some real problems for them all.
Sometimes in culture, zeitgeist throws up things that are similar yet still different. In the late nineties, it was reality TV, with this coming up only a year after The Truman Show. Yes, there are similarities, and in their own way, both of these films work. EDtv is fun. Fun characters, tough decisions, great gags. I felt the need to watch this after recently watching the disturbing and difficult True Detective series, and really wanted to see Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson having fun. It’s not rocket science, but it is ace fun. And Jenna Elfman? Come back. I miss you.
Victor is a loner. He hangs out in his attic with his inventions, his video camera and his dog, Sparky. But tragedy strikes with Sparky, his only friend, is killed in a car accident. At school, Victor has a new science teacher, the mysterious Mr Rzykruski. He teaches the class about experiments and electricity, and Victor manages to use the nightly electric storm to bring Sparky back. The science fair on its way, and when his secret gets out there are strange and unusual consequences.
The first half of the film is exactly what you’d expect from a Tim Burton re-imagination of the Frankenstein film. Dog brought back from dead with a bunch of weird characters. I was even getting to the point where I’d had enough – and then it stepped up to the next level. Things got weird, but awesome weird, and I felt the film was redeemed. The style is so beautiful, but it does feel like the same old Tim Burton stuff. I always look forward to his next thing. I only hope that the next thing steps up in a big way.
Frankenweenie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, a BAFTA for Best Animated Film and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, amongst many other award nominations.