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Nicolas Cage closed out his offbeat cult-movie period with a bang as the Elvis-channelling, snakeskin-jacketed ex-con Sailor Ripley, who hits the road with mini-skirted Southern belle Lula Fortune (Laura Dern) in David Lynch’s hyperviolent, postmodern ode to youthful rebellion and unbridled romance.
David Lynch won the Palme d'or at Cannes for his noir-inflected, postmodern ode to youthful rebellion and unbridled romance. Nicolas Cage is Sailor Ripley, freshly released ex-con in a snakeskin jacket ("Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom?"); Laura Dern is Lula Fortune, mini-skirted Southern belle and love of Sailor's life. When the reunited lovers decide to take off for California in a shiny red convertible, Lula's murderous mother (Diane Ladd) sets her mob cronies on their tail, leading to a series of hyperviolent episodes and multiple citations from The Wizard of Oz. Starting out at overwrought and just letting the wrought sink in, Cage closed out his offbeat cult-movie period with a bang as the Elvis-channelling Sailor, caving in a man's skull, crooning "Love Me Tender" from the hood of a car, and offering a memorable mea culpa to the gang members who beat hell out of him after he calls their masculinity into question.