Ebert: Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts play the slinky brunette and the bubbly blonde in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, one of the few brilliant movies in a disappointing year. This is a Hollywood film noir told entirely within a dream. There are no waking moments as far as I'm concerned. Like a dream, it lingers on what it finds fascinating, it short cuts the dead ends, it includes bits and pieces from other dreams and it touches on various real memories. Both women are in Hollywood hoping to for careers in the movies. .
Justin Theroux plays a movie director who's been told he will be killed if he doesn't cast the right actress. He using Harring in a demonstration of how a scene should be played.
The brunette has amnesia and as the girls team up to track down her missing identity, it's like LA Confidential crossed with Nancy Drew.
I haven't been a fan of David Lynch because I felt his previous movies toyed with us, but this one commits. It breaks though that barrier of self parody that Lynch has put up and it becomes a rare dream movie that really does follow nightmare logic instead of just recycling Freudian symbols. In the movie Laura Elena Harring names herself after Rita Hayward and is one of the few actresses who can get away with that because she looks like a real old fashioned movie siren. Naomi Watts is like a plucky Dorris Day character. I love the way how at the end of Mulholland Drive the stories and characters begin to shatter and recombine just as a dream does as we start to wake up.
Roper: Well, I'm not sure about that Dorris Day comparison because I'm pretty sure Dorris Day never had a topless lesbian love scene. But I get what you're saying.
Ebert: But it would have been interesting if she had.
Roper: It get what you're saying about Laura Elena Harring because she does look like an old fashioned movie star instead a lot of these stick figure leading ladies in movies. I'm recommending this movie although do I think it toys with us. I think this originally was going to be a television pilot and there's a lot of stuff that's left unresolved but I guess that's okay because it's so interesting. And like you said, if you look at it as a dream, it's a twisted piece of genius I guess as a dream because there's a lot going on. I don't know exactly what the heck happened in this movie but I kept me riveted.
Ebert: From moment to moment you can't stop watching. And I have a theory about the TV pilot business, because this was allegedly done as a pilot for ABC. David Lynch is an intelligent adult human being. He knew, he must have known that no television network would ever show this material. My theory is that he takes the money wherever he can get it and then he makes exactly the movie that he wants to make. This movie as it stand really does work and I know that it never would have been a TV series.
Roper: No, but it would have been a hell of a TV series hat it been made. But as a film we are both saying it's one of the most interesting things we've seen this year.
Ebert: Yes it is.
Copyright 2001 Touchstone Television
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