Mulholland Drive ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

For all of the explicit Wizard of Oz references in Wild at Heart, this is the David Lynch movie that strikes me as the most reminiscent of Oz. Diane Selwyn gets swept up in a tornado of guilt, anger, lust, and confusion and finds herself in a fantasy dreamworld of her own inventing. Everything in the post-Club Silencio waking world is a chronologically fractured equivalent of Dorothy's "and you were there and you were there" moment (only for the benefit of the audience rather than the character). Along the way there are more than a few barbed caricatures of Hollywood business practices, some of Lynch's most blackly humorous sequences, and one of his most frightening manifestations of evil (behind the Winkie's dumpster, naturally). And yet just when the movie seems it's going to end on a dark note, we are given, after a flash of the horrific dumpster man, one last glimpse of Selwyn's fantasy lovers, bathed in blinding white light hovering in a long dissolve over Los Angeles: The power of love and imagination transcending the horrors of the world below. Selwyn finds peace and her troubled mind is silenced by her final act. Mulholland Drive is a paean to acting and escapism and the Hollywood both of dreams and nightmares. It's Lynch at once at his most baroque but also reigning in the flourishes to the confines of a story that (almost entirely) makes logical sense.

Not too shabby for something that was a failed TV pilot completely reimagined as a feature length film based on revelations he had while meditating.

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