|ARIZONA DREAM (director/writer: Emir Kusturica; screenwriter: David Atkins; cinematographer: Vilko Filac; editor: Andrija Zafranovic; music: Goran Bregovic; cast: Johnny Depp (Axel), Jerry Lewis (Leo), Faye Dunaway (Elaine), Lili Taylor (Grace), Vincent Gallo (Paul), Paulina Porizkova (Millie); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Claudie Ossard; Warner Brothers; 1992)|
entertaining at times, it's not
everyone's dream pic."
by Dennis Schwartz
comedy, filled with surreal visuals, weird
dialogue, self-indulgent visionary messages and
a non-linear story. Though entertaining at
times, it's not everyone's dream pic. If you can
go fishing with the lunacy, it should catch your
fancy. It's directed by the Bosnian-born
filmmaker Emir Kusturica ("Underground"/"The
Eternal"/"Time of the Gypsies") and co-written by
Kusturica and David Atkins. This is Kusturica's only
American film. The director and studio had some
difference of artistic opinions over filming, delaying
its actual release until 1994. The studio also cut a
12-minute finale sequence with Jerry Lewis.
Depp) is a young dreamer. The lad
dreams of an Eskimo boy who finds a unique fish that
has both eyes on one side of its head. For a
living he tags fish in NY harbor for the
Department of Fish and Game. His wealthy car
dealer Uncle Leo (Jerry Lewis), from Arizona, sends
his Cousin Paul (Vincent Gallo) to bring Axel back to
attend his wedding with the much younger Millie
(Paulina Porizkova). In Arizona Axel meets the suicidal
copper heiress Grace (Lili Taylor) and her bizarre
stepmother Elaine (Faye Dunaway). Axel chooses
to get on with the older Elaine, which leads to
several off-the-wall adventures.
energetic pic never stays on course, as it veers
between parody and self-parody. It's worth catching
for its strangeness, and that the director is willing
to go to the mat for his visuals.
REVIEWED ON 6/23/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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