Something Wild


(out of 5)

One of Jonathan Demme’s best films is this delightfully mad caper starring Melanie Griffith in a brilliant, endearing performance. Jeff Daniels plays a straight-laced businessman who mistakenly accepts a ride from a sexy wild child (Griffith) that turns out to be an endless adventure. Instead of taking him home, Griffith takes him out of town, introduces him to her mother and then brings him to her high school reunion. There, they run into her insane ex-husband (Ray Liotta) who has just been released from prison and is determined to get his wife back. Things go from awkward to strange in no time, and it’s all thrilling to watch. Daniels and Griffith are terrific together, and Liotta steals the show, but it’s Demme’s love of all his characters that is most effective. His ability to make anyone sympathetic is one of the greatest accomplishments of his career, and probably the main reason why he has inspired many filmmakers after him.

USA, 1986

Directed by Jonathan Demme

Screenplay by E. Max Frye

Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto

The Criterion Collection

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Melanie Griffith)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Jeff Daniels)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Ray Liotta)

New York Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Supporting Actor (Ray Liotta)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Supporting Actor (Ray Liotta)

Boston Film Critics Award
Best Supporting Actor (Ray Liotta) (tie)