Raising Arizona ★★★★

The Coen brothers second feature is one of their lighter films in terms of tone as well as their most comedic outing. It's centered around a recurring felon named H.I. McDonnough (Nicolas Cage) who forms a relationship with a police officer named, Edwina (Holly Hunter) during his many sporadic visits to the station. After getting married and trying to start an honest life, they discover that Edwina is barren and they decide to steal a child from a well-known furniture mogul who recently had quintuplets.

With strong over the top performances from the entire cast, Raising Arizona is a heartfelt comedy jam-packed with quirky situations, jokes and lines. Blood Simple was a nice debut feature, but this is the one where the Coen brothers really found the unique style that nowadays define them as filmmakers. This is not in any way simply a comedy, it's also a clever satire on the American dream in the sense that H.I. and Ed both seem certain that if they follow a middle-class formula fall in love, marry and reproduce they will automatically find all the happiness that the American dream promises. Depicting such a heavy and difficult process as that of a young man who is trying to mature and is trying to kill the reckless side of his own personality.

While this is not the best work from the Coen brothers, it's well-worth seeing if you're already a fan of them or if you're just in the mood for a fun, fast-paced and clever comedy. Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, William Forsythe and Tex Cobb are all hilarious in their own various ways, but how the Coen brothers managed to direct a baby to deliver the perfect facial expressions for every situation, when said baby is too young to understand the context really puzzles me. These creators find humor in the darkest subjects and creates laughter with their cleverly odd dialogue and absurd situations. Frequent collaborator Carter Burwell is the man behind this simple, but wonderfully unique soundtrack, with large portions of yodeling, whistling and banjo playing. Just like their other works, Raising Arizona is a film that stands the test of time and remains interesting during rewatches.

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