After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.
A bright-eyed young actress travels to Hollywood, only to be ensnared in a dark conspiracy involving a woman who was nearly murdered, and now has amnesia because of a car crash. Eventually, both women are pulled into a psychotic illusion involving a dangerous blue box, a director named Adam Kesher, and the mysterious night club Silencio.Written by
Director David Lynch initially resisted Studio Canal's offer to provide additional funds to complete the Mulholland Dr. (1999) TV pilot as a feature film. Lynch's battles with ABC network executives had left him with a negative feeling about the project, and he felt he had run out of ideas for the storyline. When he finally agreed to revisit the film, he found that all the sets had been destroyed, much to his horror, and all of the costumes and props had been released by ABC (normally all sets, props and costumes for a possible TV series are carefully cataloged and stored for future use). Lynch claimed this setback actually proved a blessing in disguise, however, when it finally generated new ideas about how to proceed with filming, and he was able to come up with a satisfying conclusion to the story. See more »
The golf club is missing from Adam's Boxster when he is on the phone and driving home. It reappears as he arrives at his driveway. See more »
What are you doing? We don't stop here.
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In the credits to Mulholland Dr., actor Chad Everett is mistakenly listed as playing Jimmy Katz; the name of Everett's character is actually Woody Katz. See more »
The DVD and VHS versions of the film were self-censored by Lynch for sexual content. He had an additional blurring effect added to Laura Harring's crotch in the scene where she climbs into bed with 'Naomi Watts (I)'. The blurring was requested by David Lynch himself because he disapproved of nude pictures of Harring being distributed on the Internet. See more »
Mulholland Drive - Lynch's cinematic art - reality vs. fantasy
Lynch loves to realistically portray logical sequences interspersed by fantasy diversions, which entrances but confuses the viewer. Blue Velvet is his best film, and works well because of its overall logical coherency spiced up by fantastic deviations from the norm (the fantasy element of the film). This technique reminds me of Fellini's 8 1/2, where fantasy was often interspersed with a logical and coherent plot.
Mulholland Drive starts off logically but then gradually abandons logical coherence as dream-like (but realistically presented) sequences are brought into the plot. Then there is a shift in the plot, from the fantasy of the first part, to the reality of the second part where roles and identities are reversed and reality reigns.
Lynch's genius is in his artistic slight of hand where he presents a fantasy scene realistically, sucking the viewer in to expecting a meaningful depiction, then upending these expectations in shocking the viewer with the fantastic elements of the scene. I can imagine Lynch laughing in the background as he plays his joke on the viewer.
The film Holy Motors presents pure fantasy in nonsensical and unrelated sequences, and is bad art. Mulholland Drive has enough organization and structure, with more skillfully accomplished fantasy, to qualify it as good art.
Naomi Watts gives us an outstanding performance - better than the typical "Best Actress" Oscar award winner's performance in the last 20 years. Watts usually gets roles that don't allow her to display her considerable acting skills, but this role does, and she more than meets the challenge.
The plot is secondary for Lynch since cinematic art is his focus. However, the movie is totally baffling unless you have some guidelines. Basically Mulholland drive is the story of a young girl who comes to Hollywood with high hopes of becoming an actress. The film is told in two parts. My interpretation is that the first (Watts as Betty) part is psychotic delusions of the young girl as she reconstructs her past leading up to the promise of a brilliant acting career. This is presented as reality and the viewer has no idea it is false. The shift to the second (Watts as Diane) part shows some shifting of roles, and depicts the true story whereby the young girl fails to become an major actress. Her identity is valid, as Diane, in the second part showing her dismal failure, while Rita of the first delusional part becomes Camilla in the second reality part.
Naomi Watts thus plays two roles with different identities, in part one and in part two. The two parts are cued by the change in her name from the delusional Betty (part I) to the real Diane (part II). In a clever signal of this personality change, the waitress at Winkie's is named Diane when Betty and Rita go to eat there in the first fantasy part, while this same waitress becomes Betty when Watts as Diane goes to Winkie's in the real second part.
The plot shift from fantasy to reality mirrors the high hopes and aspirations as fantasy (Part I as Betty) and dismal failure as reality (Part II as Diane), that happens so often as young would-be performers seek fame in Hollywood but end up as failures.
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