Monday, January 16, 2006

Arizona Dream (European Version)

Union Generale Cinematographique
Director: Emir Kusturica
Length: 142 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 15 January

Probably one of the funnier scenes I've witnessed in the last few months is seeing a middle-aged Jerry Lewis shouting nonsense and speed-walking away from Faye Dunaway firing a shotgun. Jerry Lewis is priceless throughout his rather short role in Kusturica's Arizona Dream, and the rest of the main cast, Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, Lili Taylor and Vincent Gallo are uniformly strong, and are often given great scenes to work with. Unfortunately, this is about all the movie consists of: great performances and a few memorable scenes encased in 142 minutes of a nonexistent story, symbols that make little to no sense, unbelievably cheesy score (we're talkin' Gallipoli cheesy here), and an understanding that Kusturica pushes his film into the realm of art for art's sake far too often for the movie to ever become a great one. But, the film is still enjoyable. Its a rather funny movie (Gallo's love/hate relationship with North by Northwest comes to mind), and is pretty much always entertaining. Too bad it squandered its chance to be great.


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