Watch It: Wild at Heart
Wild at Heart features brutal, with-my-bare-hands-type murder; a very possessive mother who deals with stress by covering her entire face and neck with red lipstick; a mysterious crime boss named Mr. Reindeer; lots of close-ups of fire; hot, loud sex; and Willem DeFoe’s creepiest role ever—which is saying something.
But deep down, it’s just an old-fashioned love story. Nicolas Cage plays Sailor Ripley, a good ol’ boy from Carolina who just got out of prison and is on the road with his sweetheart—Lula Pace Fortune, played with undeniable oomph by Laura Dern. Sailor and Lula are truly, madly, and deeply in love, but Lula’s momma has sent private detective Johnnie Farragut (Harry Dean Stanton) after them to bring her back home. Along the way, everyone gets tangled up in David Lynch’s crazy vision of Southern America, with sometimes violent but always compelling results.
Loosely based on Barry Gifford‘s novel of the same name, Wild at Heart is by turns surreal, terrifying, hilarious, sexy, thrilling, and confusing. But it’s never dull. This is one of the movies that helped kick off the indie/art house revolution of the 90′s, well before Quentin Tarantino went from video store clerk to filmmaker. Any fan of movies from that era needs to put Wild at Heart at the top of their must-see list.