I have recently, last night and the night before to be specific, devoted my attention to 2 David Lynch movies:
- Wild at heart (1990) which stars Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern (with Diane Ladd playing her psycho mother – also her mother off-screen),
- and Blue Velvet (1986) with Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini and again Laura Dern.
For the synopsis of the plot, I invite you to check out the links to the movies. I could give one myself but it would just be repetition and they do it so perfectly already (lazy-much? I think so. Heck it’s Sunday!)
I watched the movies in the order I listed them in, and not chronologically. A good thing too. As I liked them both, I preferred Wild at heart to Blue Velvet. Though how can they be compared, seeing they are so different from each other. Let me just say Wild at heart made me invest as a viewer more.
I must admit, and I honestly don’t know why, I do not much like Laura Dern’s acting. But I could not imagine another actress playing the role of Lula in Wild at heart. She connected so good with Nicolas Cage (for obvious reasons, so I learned) and that made it interesting to watch her play. Just borderline of overacting at times, but then, Lula was a bit larger than life as a character… with the unfortunate events that happened in her life and a mother like that.
Blue Velvet had another leading lady than Laura Dern: Mrs. Isabella Rossellini. She too starred in Wild at heart, as one of the crew that was hired to kill Sailor (Nicolas Cage), but that being a minor role… here, the story all revolved around her. A woman on the border of insanity by a crazy and dangerous man, Frank (Dennis Hopper), who kidnapped her husband and son to have control over her. Kyle MacLachlan, our Twin Peaks-man (also a David Lynch creation) was the young student, Jeffrey, that took it upon himself to investigate and get too close to Rossellini, almost breaking Dern’s heart in the process.
What I loved about both movies, was the music. I can’t shake “Blue hotel” by Chris Isaac when Sailor and Lula drive through the Texas-night in Wild at heart. Nor the song playing when Johnnie Farragut (Harry Dean Stanton) is driving to New Orleans in the pursuit of Sailor and Lula. In Blue Velvet, the 50’s music really suited the imagery.
Another thing I got a kick out were the recurring themes in Wild at heart: the allusion to fire and the flicking match-sticks. And the many references to The Wizard of Oz throughout the story: the wicked witch, the yellow brick road, going to the wizard (when talking about cousin Dell), the good witch that Nicolas Cage sees when being knocked-out.
In Blue Velvet, what I always got a kick out of was when in the darkness of the streets, you suddenly see the characters walk into the street light from out of the dark gloom. That really stuck with me throughout the movie.
What can I say more? If you haven’t seen them, do. If you have, what did you think?