Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart ★★★

“This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top.” - an excellent summation of David Lynch’s entire style

Really enjoyed the passionate energy between Laura Dern and Nic Cage and I will always be drawn to the doomed(ish) lovers storyline. But there were also a lot of big swings into downright weird here that I didn’t think added a lot to the narrative (the entire sequence involving Crispin Glover, for example) other than to showcase Lynch’s affection for the bizarre.

The Wizard of Oz references felt to me to be so numerous that there must be a solid reason for them, and I ultimately could only come up with the idea that Wizard of Oz is a flight from reality to fantasy and that in this movie the characters long to escape in the same way Dorothy does. When Laura Dern clicks her red heels after a particularly traumatic scene, you know she is longing to go “home” in a metaphorical sense - she wants to be somewhere where she’s loved and protected as Dorothy was, but she just can’t find a way to get away.

Ultimately I liked this enough because of Cage and Dern’s performances, but I think that Lynch would benefit from not squeezing into his films every bit of strangeness that can be found in his subconscious. At the same time, that’s what makes these movies his and what his fans love so much, so it’s more of an expression that Lynch is not quite for me than anything else.

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