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TELEVISION: WINONA`S LITTLE MISS MIXED UP; THE REAL WINONA RYDER Channel 4 10.00pm.

SHE'S the girl with the big brown eyes, the fantastic list of gorgeous and cool ex-boyfriends and a genuine talent for acting in the kookiest of roles. However, she's also one messed-up Hollywood cautionary tale, and tonight, Winona Ryder's sorry, if not unsalvageable tale is told.

Now that her reputation is in tatters following her conviction for shop-lifting last year and the subsequent revelations that she's something of a prescription pill-popper, it's a good time to look back at Winona's life to try to find something which could help explain it all.

And this is exactly what Mark Kermode and Russell Leven have done in making this documentary.

Looking at the evidence, it's hardly surprising Winona is a little on the bonkers end of the sanity scale.

Did you know, for example, that her hippy parents co-authored a book alleging that Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women while dosed up on opium?

Or that she was beaten up in school by a bunch of pre-pubescent thugs who thought she was `a gay boy'? Noni, as she's known outside of the courtroom, can also boast of being the goddaughter of notorious LSD guru Timothy Leary - a friend of her commune-loving parents.

In fact, to say that Winona's upbringing was unorthodox would be akin to stating that the Welsh conservatives haven't got much of a chance in any election in this country, ever!

Still, all this intrigue makes for an interesting-enough profile and Kermode and Leven do all the slagging off without having a go at her acting talent.

Conversely (if not unsurprising in this day and age), Winona's movie fee has risen to over $13m since the court case - the most talked-about trial since OJ Simpson got into a spot of bother involving a murder charge a few years back.

So maybe there is a silver-lining to the cloud of being famous and messed up.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 22, 2003
Words:314
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