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Mulholland Drive

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Mulholland Drive

Starring: Robert Forster, Laura Harring
Director: David Lynch
Rated: R
RunTime: 147 Minutes
Release Date: October 2001
Genres: Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Robert Forster, Justin Theroux, Brent Briscoe, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dan Hedaya, Ann Miller, Michael J. Anderson, Scott Coffey

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

Whatever David Lynch is selling, I'm not buying. From the writer/director of "Blue Velvet" and "Twin Peaks" comes another dark, mysterious thriller that opens with an automobile accident on Mulholland Drive, the serpentine street that twists high in the Hollywood hills. Dazed, a beautiful brunette (Laura Elena Harring) emerges and stumbles down a hill, slipping unobserved into a '30s-style apartment as the tenant leaves for a trip. The next morning, a dewy blonde (Naomi Watts) from Deep River, Ontario, arrives in LA with dreams of stardom in her suitcase. Her aunt owns the apartment and the two women meet. The brunette has amnesia so the blonde tries to help her discover her identity along with her latent lesbian lust. Meanwhile, a hotshot director (Justin Theroux), whose wife is in bed with the poolman, is forced to cast a certain actress in his new film and there's an assassin (Mark Pellegrino) roaming the city. The tortuous paths of these various characters - and others named Cookie, Coco and Cowboy - intersect at various points but the plot remains elusive because, midway through the story, Lynch has the brunette and blonde play two different women in an alternate reality, leaving a huge wad of cash, a blue metallic key, a paralyzed mogul and a lot of questions that go unanswered. Elena Harring and particularly Naomi Watts are gifted actresses, effectively making the subtle switch. The same cannot be said for former M.G.M. dancer Ann Miller who's stiff and self-conscious, speaking - like most Lynch players - in staccato tones. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Mulholland Drive" is a frenzied, frustrating 4. Originally designed as an episodic TV pilot, this surreal triumph of suspenseful style over substance is packaged as a puzzle with several of the key pieces left out.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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