Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)

What's it about? Aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) moves to Hollywood, befriends an amnesiac woman and sets out to find out who the woman is. Then she turns into someone else. Oh, and a sinister Cowboy, a scary tramp and Billy Ray Cyrus turn up. Clear?

Is it any good? Make of it what you will. You might be bewildered or beguiled or possibly both, as the films deals with favourite Lynch themes of dreams and alternate realities. It's also a love/hate letter to Hollywood, highlighting the thin line between success and failure in the movies. It does all make a sort of sense, though, when you sit down to think about it. One thing’s certain though, Naomi Watts is fantastic in this – the audition scene alone is worth seeing. The lovely Melissa George (who people might remember as Angel from Home & Away) also turns up and lip-syncs to a great old Doo Wop number, just one highlight of a great soundtrack.

Melissa George. A lovely girl.
I don't trust you. What do others think? Critics proclaimed it the pinnacle of all things Lynchian and it gained him Best Director at Cannes and a third Oscar nomination. Presumably aghast that people had actually made sense of it, he responded by making the utterly bonkers and incomprehensible INLAND EMPIRE. No one proclaimed it pinnacle of anything. 

*Update!* In August 2016, it topped BBC Culture’s poll of the greatest films of the 21st Century, based on the votes of 177 film critics from 36 countries. Although they also included The Tree of Life in the Top 10, so that undermines their credibility somewhat.

Anything else I should know? Need help figuring out what's going on? Six film critics give their opinion here. It probably doesn't help these don't necessarily agree with each other. Or there's a more academic analysis here and an entire website devoted to it's meaning here.

What does the Fonz think? It's like a soaped up Melissa George: beautiful and sexy, hard to get a totally secure grasp of, but good fun trying.

Buy it on Amazon

1 comment:

  1. directorscut26/3/13

    INLAND EMPIRE would probably be the pinnacle of self-indulgent wank if not for SATANTANGO.