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Arizona Dream

Where to Watch Arizona Dream


Arizona Dream is a 1993 surreal dramedy directed by Emir Kusturica and written by David Atkins and Emir Kusturica. Its international cast is led by Johnny Depp, the incandescent Faye Dunaway, and comedy legend Jerry Lewis alongside talented Lili Taylor and Vincent Gallo, testament to the avant-garde nature of the film itself.

The film centers around the quirky protagonist, Axel Blackmar (played by Johnny Depp), a dreamer and amateur fishologist who embarks on an unusual adventure. Although Axel is seemingly content living in New York and working for the Department of Fish and Game while also enjoying his eccentric habit of releasing fish into rivers while dreaming about Inuit fishing, his life pivots when his car-salesman uncle Leo (Jerry Lewis) fetches him to Tucson, Arizona. Leo hopes to pass on his prosperous Cadillac dealership business to his nephew while also having him serve as the best man at his planned wedding.

In Arizona, Axel encounters two equally bizarre and fascinating characters—Elaine Stalker (Faye Dunaway), a widowed and erratic wealthy woman trying to build a flying contraption and her rebellious daughter Grace (played by Lili Taylor), who intensifies the quirkiness by enumerating multiple ways of ending her life. Axel's peaceful life is swept away in a whirlwind of love, dreams, and oddity. Intriguingly, all these characters bear the weight of their past, their lost dreams, and personal dysfunction, making them even more complex and intriguing.

What makes Arizona Dream particularly captivating is its molding of surreal and absurdist elements with heartfelt performances. It is a film that consistently refuses to conform to expected norms, amplifying its metaphorical implications with a strong dream-like resonance. The absurd caricature situations, bizarre humor, and depictions of idiosyncratic human behavior cause it to culminate in a delicate balance at the point where comedy ends and tragic commences.

The performances are channelized via underlying subtlety. Depp, bearing an offbeat charm and overarching innocence, delivers the essence of the dream-filled protagonist perfectly. Faye Dunaway presents a deeply poignant portrayal of a wealthy and eccentric woman persistently chasing her dreams, despite the surrounding absurdities. Jerry Lewis, in a departure from his comedic roots, delivers a compelling performance as the pragmatic uncle trying to uphold his business legacy. Lili Taylor's performance adds to the overall engaging narrative mix with profound depth and sensitivity.

Emir Kusturica's keen eye for the detail and David Atkins' inventive writing underscore etiquette, eccentricities, and the mundane realities of Southwestern life in the United States, adding an extra layer of uniqueness to Arizona Dream. The film often drifts between reality and dream-like sequences. Kusturica's surreal narrative style and arresting visuals, paired with a haunting score by Goran Bregović, create a dreamlike realm in which the characters play out their bizarre scripts and encounter life-altering adventures.

The cinematography synergizes the narrative’s whimsy as it captures the raw beauty of Arizona's landscapes, peppered with vivid imagery representative of the overall eccentricity of the film's plot and its characters. The whimsical film transitions towards questions around dreams, passions, failings, and the surreal connections between disparate individuals.

Arizona Dream is the kind of movie that may require more patience than usual but promises to be a rewarding watch for those who appreciate cinema with layers of depth, hidden meanings, and non-orthodox narrative structures. It may seem chaotic, but beneath the absurd eccentricities, it reflects upon life, love, dreams, obsessions, personal failings, and the raw human struggle to rise above them.

In summary, Arizona Dream is a surrealist landscape that serves as a unique cinematic experience that wonderfully blurs reality and dream, manifesting in an intoxicating blend of humor, tragedy, and the bizarre. It also offers standout performances from the leading cast, eclectic storytelling, a fascinating character study, and a fresh infusion of whimsy in the conventional American narrative. This film is especially worthwhile for those who enjoy a deep dive into strange and dream-like worlds.

Arizona Dream is a Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Romance movie released in 1993. It has a runtime of 119. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 62.

How to Watch Arizona Dream

Where can I stream Arizona Dream movie online? Arizona Dream is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Arizona Dream for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Emir Kusturica
Johnny Depp, Jerry Lewis, Faye Dunaway
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