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Mulholland Drive
2001 - R - 145 Mins.
Director: David Lynch
Producer: Mary Sweeney, Alain Sarde, Neal Edelstein, Michael Polaire, Tony Krantz
Written By: Joyce Eliason, David Lynch
Starring: Naomi Watts, Jeanne Bates, Laura Elena Harring, Scott Wulff, Robert Forster
Review by: Jennie Kermode
   
After the convolutions of 'Lost Highway' and the experiment which was 'The Straight Story', 'Mulholland Drive' sees David Lynch returning to what he does best. This melancholy beautiful tale has all the richness of 'Blue Velvet', yet somehow manages to be darker still. With sumptuous visuals which give way to abrupt moments of terror and those disconcerting flashing blub scenes which have led some to speculate that the director is a schizophrenic, 'Mulholland Drive' is a return to the world of dreams; and where better to situate such a tale than the city of broken dreams, Hollywood?

The plot within this film is famously non-linear, and peculiar enough in its development to have rapidly scared away the fourteen year olds who sneaked in just to try and see some lesbian sex. This time, though, Lynch seems to know what he's doing with this complicated form. It all draws together with a sense of inevitability which is at once agonising and beautiful. Centering on the relationship between two actresses trying to make it big in Hollywood, with sub-plots involving a cuckolded director and a gangster organisation which may or may not represent something otherworldly, it treats its subjects with great affection, yet never flinches from their cruelty and fragility and the terrible consequences of love distorted by ambition. It is remarkable to see any film with such strong female leads, especially in a story which hinges on jealousy and betrayal, a film noir about moral disintegration under terrible pressure; and both actresses are absolutely up to the job. This is a very human story, despite its biting satire on the film industry and its assorted comic vignettes. It builds up emotion through incident and accident like Spike Lee at his best. I don't expect it will ever be greatly successful. It has more impact and more power than most people want to encounter on a Saturday night out. Bitter, tragic and romantic, 'Mulholland Drive' is thrillingly intelligent film-making.
 
Movie Guru Rating
A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic.
  5 out of 5 stars

 
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