Wild at Heart - Nicolas Cage-a-Thon Part 2
Written by Samantha Wolfe
Yeah, this took longer than expected. Let’s move past it.
The second official film in my Nic Cage-a-Thon was David Lynch’s 1990 classic Wild at Heart, also starring Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe.
On my last post, I predicted that Lynch’s general chaos would likely mesh well with Nic’s chaos, and that was certainly the case with this film. Lynch’s signature weirdness can be a hindrance to some actors in his films (Lara Flynn Boyle from the TV show Twin Peaks comes to mind), but when everyone is on board, it’s perfect. Nic is a flawless lead and somehow manages to make his relationship with Laura Dern’s Lulu feel extremely real, even if nothing else in this world ever could be.
Cage shines most in moment where he can be weird, which is most of his screen time. His character, a man recently released from prison on account of manslaughter set on moving to California with his girl, Lulu, lives life on the edge. His most prized possession is a snakeskin jacket which he says several times represents his “individuality and belief in personal freedom”. He serenades Lula several times, though vows to never sing Elvis’ “Love Me Tender” to anyone but his wife (yes, he sings it during the closing credits.)
Unfortunately, this is the last time Cage and Lynch collaborated. They suit each other well, as anything out of the ordinary that Cage does can be explained away by saying, “Well, it’s a David Lynch movie, what do you expect?” However, Cage wasn’t as wild as I was hoping. Maybe he was, and it was just less noticeable with everyone around him behaving the same way. Either way, this was a fun movie but not my favorite Lynch film or Cage performance by a long shot. Maybe it’s just because I’m in love with Laura Dern, but her role as Lula was much more interesting and exciting to watch.
Oh well. Onto the next.
WILD AT HEART PERFORMANCE SCORE
Level of Unhinge: 7/10
Level of Fun: 7/10
Overall Quality: 7/10