Raising Arizona Review
Still looking at the movies of the Coen brothers, I rewatched (for the first time in a long time) Raising Arizona. I could not believe I had forgotten the charm this “crime” comedy has! Aside from remembering that I liked it and that Nic Cage put in a performance unlike anyone else could, I didn’t remember a single thing from RA, and that was exactly what made the movie so enjoyable. For those who have never seen it, Raising Arizona is about a couple, one an ex con and one and ex cop, who end up married and upon finding they are unable to conceive a child decide they will steal a baby from a local couple who just had quintuplets. If you are a fan of the Coens, you will quickly know whether you are in or out on this film, if you are not a fan of the Coens, I would recommend you watch it because it is far different from any other Coen movie I’ve seen.
One thing that was completely unexpected for me coming into RA was the over-the-top acting and slapstick comedy. Lines are delivered as if they are being read for the first time by someone who has no idea why they are on a movie set, typically a bad sign for a movie, but Raising Arizona is so full of sight gags and slapsticky violence that the acting style fits the rest of the movie (and the story) perfectly.
I really enjoyed all of the unorthodox shots used in this film including a lot of baby POV, low to the ground shots either following a baby or the reverse shot (as shown above), and one amazing shot that made me pause the movie and write a note to make sure I did not forget to include it in this article. The shot starts at the end of a drive way, and begins to movie in picking up speed going over a bike, then over the top of a car, up a ladder to the 2nd story in a window and finally into the screaming mouth of Mrs. Arizona. The shot was unexpected and the camera movement experiments kept coming throughout the movie. Some of them may feel odd, but they did make the movie a lot of fun to watch.