Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
After a car accident on the curving Mulholland Drive condenses an amnesiac, she and a cheerful Hollywood-hopeful look for hints and responses across Los Angeles in this neo-noir mystery thriller written and directed by David Lynch.
The story concerns a dark-haired woman named Rita (Laura Elena Harring), who is left amnesiac after a car smash. She strolls the highways of Los Angeles in a confusing state before taking sanctuary in a building.
There she is spotted by Betty (Naomi Watts), a healthful Midwestern blonde who has arrived to the City of Angels aiming to get celebrity status as an actress. Together, the two effort to crack the mystery of Rita's proper individuality.
Naomi Watts gives a very good performance in her double role as Betty and Diane. Betty is the blonde woman arriving hoping to be an actress, only to find herself involved in a mystery, while Diane is the woman who is worried and annoyed. Watts suits her roles really well, showing plenty of determination in trying to crack the case and makes the most of the time she has on the screen.
Elsewhere, Laura Elena Harring is decent in her role as Rita, the woman whose identity assumes. But Rita isn’t Rita. What is she actually called?
Justin Theroux is decent as Adam Kesher, the film director getting on with completing his movie, while Robert Forster is fine as McKnight, one of the detectives investigating what is going on.
This is the last film to feature Ann Miller and she gives a respectable performance in her role as Coco, the woman who welcomes Betty into her apartment.
The direction from Lynch is very good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a tense atmosphere happening as well and the script is written to a decent standard by the director as he makes the movie good to follow.
The technical aspects that stand out best are the camera, music and editing, because the camera makes very good use of the locations and also captures the tense and dramatic moments well, which get the edge-of-the-seat status; the music is very enjoyable to listen to; the film is edited to an excellent effect.
The film saw David Lynch get an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, while Mary Sweeney won the BAFTA for Best Editing and Angelo Badalamenti got nominated for the music.
At the Golden Globes, the film got nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director (David Lynch), Best Screenplay (David Lynch) and Best Original Score.
The only criticism I have would be the pace – this can be slow at times, so perhaps the movie didn’t need to be 141 minutes long.
Overall, despite the sometimes-slow pace and slightly long duration, Mulholland Drive is a very decent noir thriller from David Lynch, due to his excellent direction, along with the good performances, direction, script, tense atmosphere and dramatic moments.