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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.
For more about Mulholland Drive and the Mulholland Drive Blu-ray release, see the Mulholland Drive Blu-ray Review
Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Director: David Lynch
» See full cast & crew
Mulholland Drive Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, October 10, 2010
Winner of Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" (2001) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include an introduction to the film by critic, actor and director Thierry Jousse; interviews with producer Mary Sweeney and composer Angelo Badalamenti; "Back to Mulholland Drive", an exclusive documentary; "On the Road to Mulholland Drive", an exclusive featurette; and "In the Blue Box", a lengthy featurette. The disc also arrives with a 20-page illustrated booklet. In English, with optional French, Italian, and Dutch subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Betty (Naomi Watts, 21 Grams, King Kong), a beautiful blonde from Ontario, arrives in Hollywood to try her luck in the movies. She moves in her absent aunt's apartment where she meets Rita (Laura Harring, Ghost Son), an elegant brunette. Betty assumes that Rita is a friend of her aunt.
But Rita does not know Betty's aunt. In fact, she does not know who she is – she can't remember her name or where she lives. The only thing Rita seems to remember is that she was involved in a car accident somewhere on Mulholland Drive. Intrigued by Rita's story, Betty decides to help her.
Rita and Betty begin reconstructing Rita's life. There are small details about the car accident Rita begins to remember, flashbacks from her past, even feelings she can't quite understand. But did everything she remembers happen? Or is her brain playing tricks on her?
Meanwhile, a successful director (Justin Theroux, Inland Empire) is ordered to offer the leading role in his upcoming film to a girl he does not like. He attempts to protest, but a funny looking cowboy (Monty Montgomery) appears and repeats the order. He also conveys to the director that it will be in his best interest if they did not meet again. The director gets it, and somewhere in Los Angeles a man in a wheelchair (Michael J. Anderson, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me) is immediately delivered the good news. Before the director begins shooting the film, however, he discovers that his wife (Lori Heuring) is having an affair.
While Rita is recuperating, Betty has a terrific audition. Shortly after, she has sex with Betty. Then the two attend a strange theater and discover a tiny blue box in Betty's purse. When they open the box all hell breaks loose.
Approximately a week after Mulholland Drive was released in theaters, director David Lynch revealed ten clues that supposedly unlocked the secret of his film. I've seen Mulholland Drive a number of times during the years and to this day remain firmly convinced that its narrative actually allows for a number of successful interpretations.
Director Lynch has also revealed that Mulholland Drive is a film about unique feelings, and slipping into another world where specific intellectual judgments are to be avoided. This I agree with. One does not necessarily have to align properly all the scattered pieces in the giant puzzle Mulholland Drive is in order to experience its beauty.
The film is uncompromisingly hypnotic. Even if one does not understand the significance of everything that takes place on the screen, one feels an inexorable need to keep watching, and feeling, and speculating. It is a strange feeling for sure - like being awake in a bizarre dream.
As stunningly beautiful many of the visuals may be, Mulholland Drive would have been a very different film without Angelo Badalamenti's music score - a striking blend of ambient and electronic tunes that give the film its unique pulse.
Note: In 2001, Mulholland Drive won Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. A year later, the film also won Best Film and Best Actress (Naomi Watts) awards at the National Society of Film Critics Awards.
Mulholland Drive Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment.
This is a very good high-definition transfer. Despite some minor fluctuations, fine object detail is very good; clarity pleasing; and contrast levels consistent (excluding the intentional manipulations during the memory flashbacks). The color-scheme does not disappoint either - reds, yellows, greens, browns, and blacks look fresh and well saturated; the blues, however, are most impressive as none of the blockiness they were plagued with on the SDVD release of Mulholland Drive is present here. This being said, I noticed extremely mild edge-enhancement popping up during a couple of different scenes. There are also traces of sporadic mild noise corrections, though fine grain is certainly present throughout the entire film. There are no serious stability issues; on the contrary, when blown through a digital projector Mulholland Drive conveys wonderful depth and tightness around the edges. Lastly, I did not detect any annoying flecks, debris, cuts, damage marks, or stains to report in this review. All in all, this Blu-ray release represents a solid and welcome upgrade, which I have no doubt fans of Mulholland Drive will be pleased with. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content. For the record, the main menu can be set in one of the following languages: English, French, Dutch, Italian).
Mulholland Drive Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For the record, Optimum Home Entertainment have provided optional French, Italian, and Dutch subtitles for the main feature.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is exceptionally strong. The bass is remarkably potent, the rear channels very intelligently used, and the high-frequencies not overdone. The dynamic amplitude is great. There are three specific scenes in Mulholland Drive, which I cannot address in detail without spoiling the film for you, that sound absolutely incredible. The second one, in particular, will undoubtedly test the muscles of your audio system. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and easy to follow. There are no balance issues with Angelo Badalamenti's incredibly atmospheric music score either. Lastly, while viewing the film I did not detect any disturbing pops, cracks, or hissings to report in this review.
Note: I would like to make it absolutely, perfectly clear that there are no pitch-related issues with the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.
Mulholland Drive Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Introduction - a short introduction to the film by Thierry Jousse, a former editor in chief of the prestigious French magazine Cahiers du Cinema. In French, with imposed English subtitles. (10 min, PAL).
In the Blue Box - director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko), director Jaco Van Dormael (Mr. Nobody), director Guillaume Nicloux (A Private Affair), director Michael Souhaite (Le son de Lynch), actress Sylvie Landra (Secret défense), director Emmanuel Plasseraud (La femme de Roger Gabesque), and actor Fabrice du Welz, deconstruct Mulholland Drive. In French, with imposed English subtitles. (28 min, PAL).
On the Road to Mulholland Drive - in this exclusive featurette, produced by Studio Canal, director David Lynch and various cast and crew members discuss Mulholland Drive, its complex story, characters, message, and production history. In English, not subtitled. (24 min, PAL).
Interviews - three interviews in which editor and producer Mary Sweeney and composer Angelo Badalamenti recall their encounters with director David Lynch and work on Mulholland Drive. In French and English, with imposed English subtitles.
-- Mary Sweeney (7 min, PAL).
-- Angelo Badalamenti (17 min, PAL).
-- Angelo Badalamenti, 10 Years After (Audio Interview) (17 min).
Back to Mulholland Drive - a wonderful exclusive documentary, produced by Studio Canal, about the complex narrative of Mulholland Drive. The documentary contains a number of spoilers. In English and French, with imposed French and English subtitles. (24 min, PAL).
Booklet - a 20-page illustrated booklet containing Adam Woodward's essay "Mulholland and Drive" (the author has worked as online editor for Little White Lies magazine since 2009 and currently writes for a number of film-related publications, including Playground magazine and Eye For Film).
Mulholland Drive Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I find the fact that David Lynch, the greatest living American film director, is treated with greater respect outside of his home country extremely sad. I don't know why some of his best films are yet to be released on Blu-ray in the United States, but I certainly hope that things change in 2011 (Studio Canal already released on Blu-ray The Elephant Man and Mulholland Drive in a number of European countries; Optimum Home Entertainment released Inland Empire in the United Kingdom; Universal Studios are set to release Wild at Heart across Europe; and MK2 are set to release Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Lost Highway in France in a couple of weeks).
If you could play Region-B "locked" discs, I strongly encourage you to consider adding Mulholland Drive to your libraries. The Blu-ray disc herein reviewed, courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment, looks very good and sounds fantastic. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mulholland Drive Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Studio Canal September Wave Detailed - August 13, 2010
Confirming earlier reports, Optimum Home Entertainment has announced seven titles for Blu-ray release in the UK on September 13 as part of the Studio Canal Collection: Breathless (À bout de soufflé, Jean-Luc Godard, 1960); Le cercle rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, ...
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