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Warner Brothers has added the early ‘90s film Arizona Dream to their Archive Collection and downloadable DVD selection. The film, which was highly rated when it first came out, stands up against the test of time.
The film, starring Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway, is about a young man named Axel who is taken by his cousin Paul (Vincent Gallo) from New York City to Arizona to be Best Man at his uncle Leo (Jerry Lewis)’s wedding. However, his uncle wants him to work in the family car business. While in Arizona, Axel becomes entangled with the aptly named Elaine and Grace Stalker (Lili Taylor), a mother and daughter duo that don’t see eye to eye and are both trapped in their lives. In fact, all of the characters are trapped, and Axel’s recurring dream of an Inuit fishing family only highlights the characters’ sadness. Through the haunting events that occur through the film, Axel comes to terms with the differences between his imagination and his reality and realizes how to find freedom in life.
This movie was made early in Depp’s career, but his performance shows his depth and range as an actor, not to mention that he hasn’t aged since the early 90s! (How does he still look the same today!?) Dunaway also gives a stellar performance as an older woman who seems caught in her childhood dreams and Taylor is convincing as a depressed woman who can only find solace in death.
Gallo and Lewis are great supporting actors, also playing characters who have issues to deal with-Paul is stuck in the imaginary world of movies, constantly reciting lines and monologues, and Leo is not only trapped in his car business, but also by his own guilt due to the deaths of Axel’s parents.
The movie is very surreal, illustrating how Axel and the others long for freedom and happiness. For some, it might take two viewings to understand how the surreal pieces fit with the narrative of the movie. Overall, this is a great movie for any Johnny Depp or Faye Dunaway fan.
Arizona Dream will be officially released on the Warner Archive starting March 16, but if you can’t wait until then, the film is also available for pre-order and on sale (pre-order only) at 20% Off. Click here to start downloading!