Synopsis by Mark Deming
Director Emir Kusturica and screenwriter David Atkins crafted this absurdist comedy in which Johnny Depp plays Axel Blackmer, who lives in New York State and is obsessed with fish. He tags fish and monitors their habits for a living, but his greatest curiosity is when and how they dream. Axel's uncle, Leo Sweetie (Jerry Lewis) would prefer Axel take over the family business, a Cadillac dealership in Tucson, Arizona; against his better judgment, Axel drives from New York to Arizona to check out the lot and attend Leo's wedding to Millie (Paulina Porizkova), a woman who is hoping that marriage will keep her from crying all the time. While watching the Cadillacs, Leo meets Elaine Stalker (Faye Dunaway), the sexy widow of a wealthy mine owner, and the two strike up a romance, while Elaine's daughter Grace (Lili Taylor) wanders through her mother's home playing "Besame Mucho" on the accordion to her pet turtles. Needless to say, Warner Bros, the film's United States distributor, didn't figure this was a sure bet for box-office success, and they trimmed Arizona Dream of 22 minutes before putting it into limited release and eventually dumping it onto home video without opening it in most major cities. Kusturica's original 142-minute cut was released in Europe (where it did respectable if not ground-shaking business) and to a few art houses in America; the shortened 120-minute version is available on home video.
accordion, car-salesman, fish [animal], mine, uncle, wedding, widow/widower