Winona Ryder first got my attention when I saw her on television in the movie "Mermaids". This was followed shortly afterwards by "Edward Scissorhands". I saw both in 1994, 4 years after they were released. I'd seen "Beetlejuice" years before, but it wasn't until "Mermaids" that Winona Ryder caught my attention. I thought she was really talented, and the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. I even told a friend that one day I was going to meet Winona Ryder, and then I was going to marry her.
From then on I saw much of her back-catalogue of films, a highlight being Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, and was first in line when it came to her new ones. I rushed out to buy "House Of The Spirits", "The Age Of Innocence" where she performed her oscar nominated role and "Reality Bites" on video. Then came what is probably her best movie to date- "Little Women", destined to be a classic, just give it time! In "Little Women", Winona Ryder looked the most beautiful I'd yet seen her, and I felt the most connected to her character I'd been since "Mermaids". It was also a movie that she had especially dedicated to Polly Klaas, and if it wasn't for Winona Ryder, the 1994 version of "Little Women" wouldn't have gotten made. After another year or so I saw How To Make An American Quilt in which she was as wondrous as ever, and shortly after that I saw The Crucible which is another one of her highlights. By now I was very familiar with Winona Ryder, learning little tidbits like her last name is really Horowitz and not Ryder, and that her nickname is Noni. In 1997 she took on the very different role of an android in the fourth Alien movie "Alien Resurrection".
Unfortunately I seemed to lose track of Winona Ryder- she hadn't played any world renowned roles in a while. Yes there was "Autumn In New York" in 2000 and "Mr Deeds" in 2002, but nothing truly memorable for a wide audience.
In 2003 Winona Ryder became remembered for being a thief. She was found guilty of stealing from Saks. Fans were let down by her apparent actions. Of course no one knows what really happened. To fans of Winona Ryder, she either didn't do it, or if she did, it was just a simple mistake. Either way it doesn't matter. It didn't matter to me. I still love Winona.
Finally in 2004, I was lucky enough to meet the woman of my dreams- dearest Winona. I attended the Hollywood Movie Premiere of "Before Sunset", the sequel to "Before Sunrise". By sheer coincidence, Winona Ryder was there to support the director Richrd Linklater and actor Ethan Hawke who she'd worked with on "Reality Bites". Now when you go to a Premiere, regular people sit separate from the main celebrity section. Well I decided to be brave. I went into the celebrity section having noticed Winona Ryder and an empty seat next to her. I asked if I could sit with her and watch the movie and she let me- she could have totally freaked out since fans can be obsessive, but she was extremely classy and kind. After the movie I thanked her and she acknowledged me. Looking back, I may not have gotten to know the real Winona, after all it was an awkward setting, but due to her actions, at least in my eyes she was able to remain the idol that she is- a beautiful and talented actress. And the funny thing is that I was now able to tell my friend that since I've finally met Winona Ryder, all I have to do now is marry her.
In summary, Winona is still a star, despite the Saks incident. Granted we don't here much about her work as we used to, but trust me she's still out there inspiring people off-screen and on-screen. Watch out for "A Scanner Darkly", "Mary Warner" and "Oskur Fishman" in 2006.