Suffering from shock and amnesia following a car crash on Mulholland Drive, a dark-haired woman (Laura Harring) takes refuge in a nearby apartment. Calling herself Rita, she befriends Betty (Naomi Watts), an aspiring actress who has just moved to Hollywood. Together they set about finding out who Rita really is and why she has a bag full of cash.
Recently named the greatest film of the 21st century in a poll conducted by BBC Culture, David Lynch's haunting 2001 neo-noir was originally created as a 90-minute pilot for US TV network ABC (the former home of Twin Peaks). When the network execs rejected it, rather than simply ditching the material he had shot, Lynch set about reworking it into a feature-length film.
Mulholland Drive somehow emerged from this most unlikely of beginnings as one of Lynch's most fully satisfying movies. Despite the odd narrative non sequitur and Lynch's own refusal to discuss the film's meaning, it is actually possible to unpick the central mystery, providing you pay attention to what the director is showing you as opposed to what the characters are actually saying...
Picture: Mulholland Drive made its BD debut as part of the StudioCanal Collection back in 2010, on a disc suffering from both boosted contrast and digital filtering that removed both native film grain and fine detail. The Criterion Collection than had a crack at the film in the US in the guise of a 4K restoration supervised by Lynch. Sadly, while the positives of the restoration were plain to see (more accurate colours, improved detailing, stronger black levels and a more film-like appearance), Region A fans felt they were undone by the actual encoding of the Criterion Blu-ray, which left it suffering with compression artefacts. This latest UK release is based on the same 4K source material as the Criterion disc, but this time around the encoding (courtesy of Arrow Films and Indicator stalwart David Mackenzie) appears rock-solid. The end result is nothing less than spectacular, and reason enough to replace any previous version you may have in your collection.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: The film's DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is just what you'd expect from Lynch, favouring brooding bass, intimate dialogue and Angelo Badalamenti's score over flashy dynamics. Still, you can't fault it for doing what it does so well.
Audio rating: 4.5/5
Extras: A solid collection of extras takes the form of a video essay attempting to unravel the story (24 minutes); an archival Making of… documentary (24 minutes); an appreciation of the film by Richard 'Donnie Darko' Kelly and various French film critics (29 minutes); a deleted scene (two minutes); an introduction to the film by critic Thierry Jousse; and a series of new and archival interviews with Naomi Watts & David Lynch (27 minutes), Laura Harring (14 minutes), editor Mary Sweeney (17 minutes), composer Angelo Badalamenti (17 minutes), David Lynch (three minutes), Naomi Watts (four minutes), Justin Theroux (two minutes) and Laura Harring (three minutes).
Extras rating: 4/5
We say: When it comes to picture quality, this is the definitive home release of David Lynch's mind-bending mystery.
Mulholland Drive (remastered), StudioCanal, Region B BD, £25
HCC VERDICT: 4.5/5
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