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
Referenced in the Sharon Needles song "Hollywoodn't." See more »
When Adam Kesher leaves the meeting to smash the limo's windows, the crew is reflected in the window across the street, pushing the cameraman and dolly. See more »
What are you doing? We don't stop here.
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The only time we see the full title spelled out is at the end of the end credits; during the opening credits there is only a street sign that says "Mulholland Dr". See more »
The theatrical version contains 26 minutes of newly shot and restored footage; the TV version of Mullholand Drive, shot in 1999, originally ran at just over 100 minutes and ended at Betty's apartment after helping Rita cut her hair and put a blond wig on; an additional deleted scene had Betty running out of the apartment to the roof where Rita joined her and both of them looking out over Los Angeles where Betty says "I have arrived" and Rita saying the same. The final shot in the TV pilot version has the mysterious bum sitting in the alley behind Winkie's Restaurant and holding the mysterious blue box. New footage shot for the theatrical version includes:
The theatrical ending where David Lynch goes back and tells the story of Diane; in the TV pilot, it ends where Rita (Camilla) opens the mysterious blue box.
An additional 6 minutes of expanded 'reshoots' that Studio Canal had David Lynch shoot for the theatrical release.
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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