Raising Arizona (1987)

JOEL COEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5

USA, 1987.  Screenplay by Joel Coen, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Ethan Coen.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Early entry in the Coen Brothers canon that hit well enough with audiences and critics to put their name on the map. Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter are both terrific as an outlaw and a cop who fall in love and get married. When they realize they can’t have children, their happiness is threatened until a miracle solution falls into their lap: a wealthy furniture salesman’s wife has just given birth to quintuplets and they decide to take one. After all, how fair is it that some have so much when others have nothing at all? Getting mixed up in the complications are two ex-con buddies of Cage’s (John Goodman, William Forsythe), his boss (Sam McMurray) and boss’s wife (Frances McDormand, not at all convincing as southern trash) who all see an opportunity for themselves when the couple’s crime is brought into the light. Lots of crazy, inventive camera moves, a hilarious eccentricity in the acting (Hunter especially excels at this), though in the end it all amounts to pretty much nothing more than some very fancy hot-dogging.

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