Joanne’s Picks

This page is just for fun and ever-changing (with the exception of the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who has been archived here). I’m Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse. I like books (and you might like mine), I like music, I like movies, I like TV. So, I’m just sharing some of what I like. Keep checking back as I’m always keeping things fresh.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is on my to-watch list (as is Pig) as I write this (April 27th 2022) because hell, yeah, Nicholas Cage. In anticipation of that, this is my must-watch of Nic Cage faves.

1- Raising Arizona (Hey, there, Hi! This 1987 Coen brothers dark comedy with Holly Hunter is still one of Cage’s best – I was a teen when I saw this and it’s still so vivid in my mind. You never forget how a work of art makes you feel and with this one I may have hurt myself laughing)

2 – Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (My love for this my-favourite-spiderman-film-of-all-time may have influenced the placement of this 2018 film on the list but as Spider-Man-noir Cage was his usual bizarre self and I was here for it – “where ever I go the wind follows and the wind smells like rain”)

3 – Moonstruck (I mean, it’s Cher but I also just like the whole quirky rom-com-ish-ness of it and this – both the film and his performance – was emblematic of Cage’s bold acting choices, circa 1987…this needs two clips)

“I lost my hand! I lost my bride! Johnny has his hand! Johnny has his bride!” Who else could deliver those lines – the histrionics, I tell you!

4 – Wild at Heart (1990, with the great Laura Dern and director David Lynch…it’s very Lynchian…and Cage’s performance, I remember as a snakeskin jacket, James Dean hair, and Elvis Presley-esque mannerisms…all very bizarre and delightful)

5 – Peggy Sue got Married (1986…and it hits me that Cage worked with some of the best leading ladies at this stage in his career – Kathleen Turner was one of the go-tos of the 80s and another one criminally who doesn’t have an Oscar)

6 – Adaptation (this 2002 deep dive in to the creative process and related things wasn’t the kind of film I expected from Cage at this point in his career after he’d got in to the action movie lane in the 90s. So, this two-fer-performance, in a film that included no less than Meryl Streep, was like a gift…a dark, disturbing, delightful gift)

7 – Honeymoon in Vegas (another one from Nic’s rom-com phase but with that particular on the edge energy that he brings to every role – Sarah Jessica Parker and James Caan and all the Elvises were great in this fun 1992 romp)

8 – Matchstick Men (Cage and Sam Rockwell are the 2003 team-comedy-team-up I didn’t know I needed but it makes sense)

9 – Valley Girl (whatever, I was still in primary school when this 1983 teen flick take on Romeo and Juliet came out; no apologies)

10 – Kick-Ass (I don’t think I knew Nic Cage was in this odd 2010 super hero film when I watched it – what an odd odd film…odd…I maybe should have expected a Nic Cage teaching his pre-teen child to be an assassin sighting)

So, do you have a favourite Nic Cage film  and why is it Raising Arizona?