Wild at Heart is a brutal, trippy adaptation of Barry Gifford’s neo noir novel about the dark underbelly of America culture.
Nicolas Cage is the strutting peacock, Sailor, who has broken his parole and absconded with his girlfriend Lula (Laura Dern), setting in train a road trip of murders, revenge and absolution.
The film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes on release and has maintained a cult following since. It is trademark Lynch – surreal, bleak and punctuated with episodes of extreme violence.
A brilliant cast make good with the material, Dern’s real mum Diane Ladd plays her onscreen mother, the manic, unhinged and vengeful Marietta – a criminal matriarch with circle of powerful underworld figures. Isabella Rossellini and Willem Defoe turn up with Grace Zabriskie as mob assassins come psychotic killers for kicks. The late Harry Dean Stanton is a standout as Ladd’s naïve, downtrodden private detective string-along lover who trails the couple on their road trip and unwittingly crosses paths Marietta’s business associates.
This is a wonderfully dark and comic film that spits out a thrash metal soundtrack alongside Elvis Presley and Richard Strauss. Wild at Heart is a wild ride and is certainly worth a watch 30 years on from its creation.
Wild at Heart – Sunday 19 December at 9.15pm on Sky Arts.