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. Academy Awards 2001. American Film Institute Awards 2001. Boston Film Critics Awards 2001. Cannes Film Festival 2001. Golden Globe Awards 2001. Independent Spirit Awards 2001. National Board of Review Awards 2001. New York Film Critics Awards 2001. Toronto International Film Festival 2001.
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.