A new restoration of David Lynch’s critically acclaimed masterpiece Mulholland Drive has been released, coinciding with the return of the director’s cult TV series Twin Peaks. A bizarre, confusing and highly engaging mystery, Mulholland Drive is well worth your time if you’ve never seen in and well worth revisiting if you’re still looking for answers.
Would-be Hollywood actress Betty (Naomi Watts) encounters amnesiac Rita (Laura Harring) and the two set out to find answers about Rita’s true identity. That’s the plot of Mulholland Drive in the broadest sense, as the movie is full of various characters and subplots, and indulges in a number of unexpected twists and turns. There’s director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux), who is being pressured by unknown agents into casting an unknown actress as the female lead of his next movie. Two men visit a diner, where one shares a nightmare of his to the other. A hitman has a bad day. Many scenes and subplots feel as if they go nowhere.
Yet what makes Mulholland Drive such a compelling mystery is that makes you want to figure it out. Anyone who says they know exactly what happened after seeing it only once is a liar. This is the type of movie that encourages and celebrates multiple viewings, theory crafting and looking for clues. Even if you have no idea what to make of it, even if the surreal, dreamlike quality of it all frustrates you to some extent, you’ll probably find that you’re pretty invested in the mystery and the search for answers.
Although it’s entirely possible that you’re put off by Mulholland Drive’s obfuscating nature, especially considering how the movie eschews and complicates notions and aspects of traditional narratives. Whether it works for you or it doesn’t, Mulholland Drive is a movie that is incapable of leaving you indifferent towards it.
It’s a beautifully shot film that looks even better restored, dripping with color and style. The cinematography balances alluring with foreboding very effectively. There’s a constant, creeping sense of dread and unease that lurks underneath the glossy, gorgeous exterior.
Mullholland Drive was Naomi Watts’s big breakthrough in Hollywood and it’s easy to see why. She nails Betty’s happy-go-lucky, cheerfully naive disposition, but it’s later in the movie that she truly shines when her performance goes in a darker, more sinister direction. She embraces the duality that comes with the role and handles it extremely well.
The restoration comes with a wide range of extras, mostly interviews, along with a few featurettes and a deleted scene. The lack of a commentary is noticeable, but there’s still plenty of additional content to be found here if you’ve already seen or own Mulholland Drive and need more of a reason to pick it up than just the movie itself. The full list of special features will be provided below.
Overall, Mulholland Drive is a fantastic movie that is bound to leave you both utterly mesmerized and completely perplexed. It’s a mystery well worth investing in, or at the very least a trip to dreamland that you won’t soon forget.
Back to Mulholland Drive featurette
On the Road to Mulholland Drive featurette
Criterion interview with Naomi Watts & David Lynch
NEW Interview with Laura Harring
NEW Interview with Mary Sweeney
Interview with Angelo Badalamenti
Introduction by Thierry Jousse
In the Blue Box featurette
EPK Interviews: David Lynch, Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux, Laura Harring
[NOTE: The images were assets provided by StudioCanal and do not reflect the quality and visual fidelity of the restoration of the 4k digital transfer]