Mulholland Dr., the great David Lynch puzzle movie that launched the careers of Naomi Watts and Justin Theroux, has now gotten the Criterion treatment—and it’s a good one.
Watts plays Betty, a wannabe actress who comes to Hollywood squeaky-clean—and gets her ass kicked. Theroux plays the director who gives her a role, but also breaks her heart. Or, depending upon your take, it’s all just a very bad dream.
Lynch planned this as a TV series for ABC, but the executives over there had no idea what Lynch was trying to do when they watched the dailies. When the pilot was rejected, Lynch did an extensive transcendental meditation session and came up with a way to make his TV series into a movie. Shockingly, it all ties together magically well.
I think this is actually Lynch’s best movie, full of terrific strange twists, dark humor and powerhouse acting—especially from Watts. She’s done many great things since, but this might stand as her best performance.
Special Features: There’s a deleted scene that is silly, along with some terrific recent interviews with the likes of Lynch, Watts and Theroux. Best of all, there’s set footage of the performers doing multiple takes—and getting ticked off.