The Film (5/5)
Betty (Naomi Watts) is an actress from Ontario, Canada who arrives in L.A. with gleeful positivity about her future in the movie business. She will be staying at her Aunt's apartment for 3 months while her Aunt is away on a shoot back home in Canada. However, upon arriving at the apartment she discovers Rita (Laura Harring) taking a shower in the place. Betty makes the assumption that Rita is a friend of her Aunt, but the truth is that Rita was involved in a car wreck on Mulholland Drive the night before, and has no memories of anything before then, even her own identity. The pair become fast friends, and begin working together to piece together Rita's existence prior to the accident. While Betty and Rita are investigating they end up in the possession of a blue box for which Rita already had the key. Upon opening this box their existence and those around them goes from strange to stranger.
Mulholland Drive started a pilot that David Lynch created for ABC in the late 1990's. It was going to be his return to TV after the premature death of the cult classic Twin Peaks, however, it never went to series. Fortunately for the director he owned the footage, and about a year later concocted an idea to expand the pilot into a narrative feature film.
In the original U.S. DVD release of Mulholland Drive there was an insert with 10 clues to figure out what the film was actually about. I found some of those a tiny bit misleading at the time, and found that only a handful actually hinted at the films actual narrative. When watching Mulholland Drive now, I find it comparable to his other film of a similar vintage Lost Highway, as they both feel like Lynch experimenting with narrative structure.
Mulholland Drive like most of Lynch's films) is a quite stylish affair, gorgeously directed and oozing with atmosphere. The soundtrack from frequent Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti helps the director to capture the films unique atmosphere. The performances across the board are excellent with actresses like Watts, Harring, and Justin Theroux bringing their natural styles down to Lynch's very specific rhythm to create something more in tune to the world of the film.
Mulholland Drive is presented a spectacular 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the films original OAR. Color reproduction here is fantastic all the way throughout, blacks are inky and deep, detail is excellent and flesh tones are accurate. I cannot find anything to complain about.
The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English with the track being quite excellent with dialogue and score coming through nicely.
Criterion has loaded up their edition of Mulholland Drive with interviews with the cast and crew of the film including Lynch, Watts, Theroux, and more. We also get a deleted scene, the films trailer, and 25 minutes of on set footage.
I would say this is one of David Lynch's finest films, but he has so many great films it is hard to pick one. The Blu-ray from Criterion is a marvelous restoration, and is loaded with extras HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.