The Plank

I Guess That's Why They Call It A 'way Homer'

By and

Fellow fans of the Coen brothers' second feature, Raising Arizona, will want to read the always interesting Matt Zoller Seitz on the Freudian substructure undergirding this immensely funny film:

Arizona is a slapstick fantasy about the eternal war between domesticity and savagery -- a suburbanized western that ends with a brawl between a man and his id. The marvelous post-fight close-up [when H.I. realizes he's pulled the grenade pin and, essentially, killed Leonard Smalls]-- one the finest moments in Cage's audaciously warm and silly performance -- confirms H.I.'s instinct for empathy, a quality that separates him from every other thug in the picture. He is really, truly sorry that his assailant, a vicious mercenary and a fellow human being, is about to die. But there's another type of sadness in this close-up -- subtle, inner-directed. It's as if he knows that in pulling the pin he has bid farewell to the most vibrant, prideful part of himself, and will have to find new ways to prove himself a man.

--Christopher Orr

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