Mulholland Dr./ B+, B+
Universal2001/147/ANA 1.85

     What is it about Mulholland Dr. that generates such magic? It is hard to say. Some of it is evidently stiff, awkward, artificial, yet it has a magnetic power. It is entertaining, mysterious, funny, outrageous and daring. Mulholland Dr. can even make you laugh out loud. The skewed sense of humor plays against the heavy-lidded noir elements effectively. This is one strange film, a real trip. 

What a headache! ŠUniversal

     The twists and turns begin along the road when Rita staggers in a daze from a car accident. Finding shelter in a quaint LA courtyard apartment complex, Rita meets Betty and things really start to happen. Betty and Rita are like a pair of refugees from the house of mirrors in a Nancy Drew  girl detective novel, but its lots of fun. The unexpected twists and turns are wacky, but then, are they really a surprise in a David Lynch film. Director Lynch is traveling the familiar unusual road, relishing the curves like race car driver running through the gears.
     It appears that significant threads of this thick tapestry get lost in the maze of Lynch's imagination, but the film was purportedly culled by Lynch from scenes for a television pilot which never saw the light of the small screen. Perhaps the ragged threads work as false leads. Were they meant to broaden out into separate series stories? It doesn't really matter since the whole of Mulholland Dr. delivers an undiluted dose of pleasure.
     Naomi Watts is a constant blast of middle America sunshine in the role of Betty, newly arrived in Hollywood for her big shot at stardom. Talk about a black and white soda, Watts blends perfectly with Laura Harring's Rita, the mysterious doll who owes more than a nod to scores of forties noir flicks. 
     Interesting photography adds to the ambiance with stylized angles emphasizing the mysterious elements. The camera is extremely busy; it is always moving, very slowly, up and down, side-to-side, promoting the tension.
    Mulholland Dr. comes to life in a comfortable looking transfer. It is quite sharp with no edginess. Details are very stable even in pans. The Silencio sequences are positively lustrous with excellent shadow detail. Minute detail in the nighttime LA skyline is meticulously rendered. Outstanding score from Angelo Badalamenti draws you into the film with a mysterious feel, almost "noirotic," from the get-go. The DTS surround sound provides excellent spatial detail. 





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