Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
France/USA, 2001. Les Films Alain Sarde, Asymmetrical Productions, Babbo Inc., Canal+, The Picture Factory. Screenplay by David Lynch. Cinematography by Peter Deming. Produced by Neal Edelstein, Tony Krantz, Michael Polaire, Alain Sarde, Mary Sweeney. Music by Angelo Badalamenti. Production Design by Jack Fisk. Costume Design by Amy Stofsky. Film Editing by Mary Sweeney.
Atmosphere is just the first delicious part of the experience in this David Lynch film, his best since Blue Velvet. Two women are united after a car accident on the titular road in Los Angeles, one of whom is now amnesiac and doesn’t know her identity, the other an aspiring actress anxious to help her. At some point, however, the two women are now alternate characters and Lynch draws his audiences further into a dreamlike vortex of confusion. It’s what he does best, and fans of his will have no end of fun having their chains pulled one more time. Naomi Watts and Laura Harring are both excellent in the lead roles, and veteran MGM musical star Ann Miller is wonderful in a supporting role as a kindly landlady who befriends the actress.
The Criterion Collection: #779
Academy Award Nomination: Best Director (David Lynch)
Cannes Film Festival Award: Best Director (David Lynch) (tie)
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Director (David Lynch); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score
Toronto International Film Festival: 2001