LeonDeon’s review published on Letterboxd:
David Lynch you amazing bastard you. This is a combination of all the great things in the Lynch database. Laura Dern, weird bizzare characters, a setting that’s Americana turned inside out, and that good fashioned Lynch direction. I’d classify this as a good steak dinner on a Sunday night. Yeah that’s what I’d call it. Maybe not my favorite Lynch but it’s up there in terms of quality (of course to me).
Nic Cage just puts absolutely everything he has into this role as Sailor. A tough guy greaser type who has just gotten out of prison for manslaugher and is looking to hit the road with the love of his life Laura Dern. Nic Cage is always going to be one of my favorite reliable actors. He is fearless and devotes every ounce of his being into roles like these and seeing someone so unrestrained and so unafraid of what people will think by being a film that people will think is “weird”. Sailor is a good guy who has to deal with the cusp of coming into his own facing the big wide world.
Laura Dern plays Lula, a girl who has a a traumatic past, looking for a good time with her other half. She plays her character so well really immersing herself. This is her second film with David Lynch and their relationship is strengthened by their absolute trust in each other. In Blue Velvet she plays a more innocent girl in that luscious Americana background but in Wild at Heart is a loud and hard to ignore, and not in a bad way. She has this kinetic energy that matches Nic Cage’s Sailor. Laura Dern has that range that Lynch is able to grab onto and make the most out of it.
Another thing to mention is that swollen Dafoe in that mask will be an image that burned into my minds eye for a while. Dafoe plays as the shadow of Nic Cage (not literally but what he could become) Bobby Peru. Bobby is a man who has a thin mustache, was in the navy, and has teeth that you will never forget. I love the way Dafoe carries himself as Bobby and pronounces words, something about how he hangs onto certain consonants makes it such a mesmerizing performance. Also shoutout to Crispin Glover just trying to make his sandwiches and wanting it to be Christmas everyday. Can’t also forget Henry Dean Stanton who plays a detective so good at his job he can find a honest man in Washington as he is on the lookout for Sailor and Lulu trying to bring them back home.
Wild at Heart is epic. It’s painted with the tonality of a road film but under that deceiving hood is that Lynch style and I put style boldly because Lynch is a subtle bold man who happens to make classic after classic from what I’ve seen.