<Todd>’s review published on Letterboxd:
"You just 'bout took me right over that rainbow." - Lula,
Willem Dafoe creepily smiling while wearing pantyhose over his head is the scariest thing I've ever seen.
In Wild at Heart, star-crossed lovers Sailor (Cage) and Lula (Dern) must go to great lengths to share their love and avoid the series of killers that Lula's mom sends to stop that love. A surrealist and wonderful exploitation fiasco that will influence the likes of Tarantino and late John Waters ensues. This is a movie about how dumb love is, how dramatic love is, and how great love is. I dig it.
I love that this film is willing to embrace the weird. So much of life is people saying "well that's weird" or "random" or "different" that I love that I can put in a film like this that is willing to embrace the profane and strange aspects of family and love that are often glossed over. Specifically, I enjoy a surrealist film told from a "white trash" pov. Tonally, the film is a an epic like Wizard of Oz, mixed with a trailer park and PeeWee's Big Adventure... so... awesome. I love the ending.
I appreciate the slow pace of Wild at Heart because I value the characters and enjoy just living with them. Any story Lula and Sailor told, I was interesting in knowing more about. Every time they go to the mom, I was down to see what the fuck she was up to. I think this is a combination of effective writing and great performances by Laura Dern, Nic Cage, and Dianne Ladd. That's not even mentioning roles by Willem DaFoe, Isabella Rossellini, Sherilyn Fenn, Harry Dean Stanton, and Crispin Glover.
Recommended to individuals that can handle a meandering story with high style and bizarre content.
P.S. I like the snakeskin jacket.