At last, you can see what Winona Ryder has been doing in Minnesota this month, and watch her 2020 Super Bowl commercial.
As part of a Super Bowl ad for the website building platform, Squarespace, Ryder visited her birthplace and namesake of Winona, Minn. earlier this month. The resulting campaign is an all-out love note to the small southeastern Minnesota town, including a commercial spot, a short film, a website created and curated by Ryder and a Welcome to Winona photo book.
"I just want to find the real Winona, you know?" says Ryder sitting in an empty diner at the start of the short film.
"Oh," says the waitress, Joan, helpfully: "It's everything between Pleasant Valley Road and the Mississippi."
As the film continues, Ryder wanders the streets of Winona to discover the town and to find her "true self" -- and, since this is an ad for Squarespace, to build a website: welcometowinona.com.
Clad in Minnesota-made Red Wing boots, Ryder snaps photos of signs and buildings around town: Winona Outfitters, Winona Mall, Winona City Hall, Winona Fire Department. "There's something about this place, something that feels so... me," she says.
The 3-minute video is full of real-life Winonans and Winona businesses. Combined with the Welcome to Winona website, it makes for an unexpected and delightful tribute to the quaint southeastern Minnesota town. (Though that diner from the opening and closing scenes is not actually in Winona; eagle eyes will note that it's Mickey's Diner on W. 7th Street in St. Paul.)
The short film is separate from the commercial that will air during the Super Bowl. For that 30-second spot, Squarespace hired an actor to play a 'Fargo'-esque police officer who happens upon Winona Ryder, lying in a snowbank with her laptop, working on her Welcome to Winona website.
There's also an extended version available online:
Ryder also has put together a Welcome to Winona photo book, on sale in limited quantities starting February 3 at 9 a.m. CST. Every copy is signed by Winona Ryder, and all of the proceeds go to the American Indian College Fund.
"I came here to find the true Winona. To become a Winonan," says Ryder to Joan the diner waitress in the last scene of the short film. "And I did. But what I didn't realize was how much I'd discover about Winona along the way."
"And that Winona is Winona Winona, not Winona, right?" says Joan.
"Wait, I'm lost," says Ryder. "What?"
Except she's not really lost. She's found herself in Winona, Minnesota.