David Lynch’s woozy, diabolical and exhilaratingly strange thriller is a nightmarish film noir that lays bare the diseased heart of the Hollywood dream machine.
“Exhilarating! There’s nothing else quite like it. The film grips you like a dream that won’t let go.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Amnesia-suffering Rita (Laura Harring), who barely escapes murder in a suspicious car crash on winding, hilly Mulholland Drive, makes her way down to Hollywood, where she sneaks into the apartment of aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts), a wholesome Midwestern blonde who has come to the City of Angels seeking fame and fortune. When the two women encounter each other and join forces to try and piece together the elusive story of what really happened to Rita up there on Mulholland Drive, their delirious descent into the freshly warped and hypnotically strange Lynchian rabbit hole ensues. A lethal blue box, an unlucky young director named Adam Kesher and a neon-glowing nightclub called Silencio are only the tip of the iceberg in this kinkily off-kilter horror/mystery/thriller that constantly eludes easy interpretation. Originally conceived by Lynch as a TV pilot and then expanded into a feature film after network executives resoundingly rejected it, Mulholland Drive launched the film career of future Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts and simultaneously electrified and mystified audiences with its puzzle-like story of identity and madness. In typical Lynch fashion, the director declined to offer any explanation of his narrative intentions in Mulholland Drive, instead simply referring to the film’s enigmatic tagline, “A love story in the city of dreams.” (Dir. by David Lynch, 2001, USA, 147 mins., Rated R)