We gave it an A-
You know the dream: Everything looks more or less the same — but more or less the same as what? The dialogue is stilted and poorly dubbed — no one’s voice sounds at home in their own mouth, least of all yours. And who are you, anyway? Are you even the star of your own movie? Or just a bit player on a bad TV show?
Don’t look for answers in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. A koan-like riddle with a capital Id, the film unspools like the offspring of a Möbius strip and a piece of bowtie pasta: Bright-eyed blondie Betty (Naomi Watts) bounces into a somnambulent L.A. to become an actress, only to see her quest complicated by a beautiful brunet amnesiac (Laura Elena Harring) who turns out to be…her ex-lover? Her estranged self? A narcissistic parallax of both? Lynch — who rightly apprehends alienation as mood, not concept — has the good sense not to supply an answer. And Watts, the cracked crystal at ”Drive”’s refracted heart, deconstructs her Hollywood ingenue with a jeweler’s precision. Together, they leave us half in, half out of the looking glass, mouthing Alice’s eternal question: ”Which dreamed it?”