Mulholland Dr. (2001)

David Lynch’s film, the voted #1 movie of the 2000s, is beguiling but packs an emotional wallop

mulholland-drive-posterThe moment in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.” that resonates most deeply with me, and there are a few, takes place inside the club known as “Silencio.” “Silencio! No hay banda,” the announcer “says” to the crowd, explaining that there is no band, no live performance. It’s all taped. It’s all a recording. It’s all an illusion.

Lynch gives us a few shots, one from the balcony where Betty and Irene are sitting, another in close-up of the emcee, and a third from his side profile revealing a blue-haired woman sitting zombie-like in the luxury box above. The lights begin to flicker in a blue haze as the emcee vanishes, and Betty starts to shake uncontrollably in her seat as thunder begins to rumble in the theater. A new host steps out to introduce Rebekah Del Rio, a singer playing herself who performs “Llorando,” a Latin cover of a Roy Orbison song, “Crying.” She’s dressed in red and black with a glint of red and yellow makeup beneath her eye. She’s first seen from afar, then in close up as she builds in dynamics. She’s barely fighting back tears and absolutely wailing, and Lynch cuts back to Betty and Irene unable to hold back their own. And then, she collapses, topples to her side as her siren song continues on tape.

It’s all taped. It’s all a recording. It’s all an illusion. This moment marks an important turning point in the film, in which the reality that Betty and Irene think they belong to begins to unravel. There’s no “unlocking” the tiny blue box they hold, or for that matter any of the movie’s secrets. All of “Mulholland Dr.’s” mysteries, noir trappings and bizarre twists have been part of some surreal movie magic, completely artificial and cinematic. It’s ALL a recording. Continue reading “Mulholland Dr. (2001)”


“Wanderlust” is a silly mess of a comedy in the way it tries to mock a hippie lifestyle while still grooving off their good vibrations.

David Wain’s film follows New York married couple George and Linda (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) to the Elysium commune in Georgia after they lose their jobs and apartment, a place where every hippie cliché ever imagined is piled on to a disturbing degree.

George and Linda are the only two characters not on an extreme end of the spectrum, be it the free loving, voodoo chanting, nature embracing and technologically challenged Seth (Justin Theroux) or George’s aggressive, douchebag brother Rick (Ken Marino).

Rudd is amusing in small-scale moments when the script allows one of the normals to be funny, namely because he will say yes to any bit, no matter how ridiculous.

But the movie’s screwball nature to top itself can be overwhelming and just plain gross. Not even an actor as likeable as Rudd can make carrying a newborn’s placenta around funny.

2 stars