Raising Arizona (1987)
Nicolas Cage is best known to modern audiences as a complete joke, but throughout his long and varied career he has been able to turn out incredible performances. Raising Arizona is one of his best. H.I. McDonough (Cage) is a dumb ex-con, married to a clever police officer (Holly Hunter). They plan to steal a baby (since they can’t have their own) born in a group of quintuplets, and that’s just part of their troubles. The fast-paced, electric film is the Coen’s wackiest and funniest, and features car chases, prison breaks and a biker from hell — literally.
The uniqueness of Raising Arizona highlights how much the Coens can do within the same constraints: McDonough is an ‘everyman’ struggling to keep his head above water, same as the men in Inside Llewyn Davis, No Country For Old Men, A Serious Man, Fargo, etc. But each of these characters could not be more different from each other, nor could the films. The Coens might stick to the same themes, but no two movies are like.