Glen Grunau’s review published on Letterboxd:
I went into my first viewing of this movie knowing nothing of what to expect, only that the film had gained some notoriety. Now I can see why.
The pace and tone of this movie was deliberately slowed down from the outset, which set the tone for the dreamy, mysterious, atmospheric picture that followed. The slow burning relationship that developed between Betty and Rita was a pleasure to watch as they drew energy and tenderness from each other.
I think I am learning not to seek so much to always understand a film in a linear and comprehensible fashion, more content to be left in a state of unknowing. In the end, I decided that I did not need to know if Betty and Diane, or Rita and Camille were the same persons. Or how the mobsters fit into anything. I suspect that film directors like Lynch, who are probably working in large part from their subconscious, possibly or even necessarily haven’t even decided themselves what elements of their movie even “mean”. So why should I need to know or expend energy trying to understand when I can just sit back and let my mind go and absorb with my senses?
Overall, a very compelling and memorable viewing experience. High ratings for mood, for thrill, for tenderness, and for mystery. And I was literally bolted to my chair when Roy Orbison’s Crying was sung in Spanish. Highly emotional! I am going to go back now and listen to the song one more time.