Mulholland Drive is an absolute masterpiece from surreal director David Lynch, but it is not for everybody I guess. Some people are going to be irritated at the strangeness of this film, but others like me enjoy that strangeness and it serves to draw us into the mystery.
There is fantastic use of music throughout the film - extremely confusing, notably accompanied by groups of people outside the cinema scratching their heads and discussing the plot furiously. Basic summary (I think!): The film is a comment on Hollywood; good is turned to bad, light to dark, helpless to manipulative, and innocent to evil because of the corruption surrounding the industry, and the depseration and insecurity brought in by "wannabe" film-stars. The film actually starts in the middle of the story, the story ends in the middle of the film, then the end of the film goes right back to the start of the story, get that?!? Story appears to be: nice innocent girl becomes lesbian after meeting amnesia-suffering vulnerable woman, but this turns out to be a concussion fuelled dream by the amnesiac who is the reason the nice-girl slides down into a moral oblivion becoming a hit-man ordering protitute after she has lost numerous parts in films to said amnesiac (who also used to be her girlfriend), thus shattering original plot and making for some excellent contrasts at the end of the film. Plenty of Lynch-ness thrown in throughout to confuse - similarities so close within each sub-plot they seem to make it one story, but it isn't - e.g. in the dream the girls visit no. 12 and are re-directed to no. 17, then a similar situation in the real-life ending where the new occupant of no. 12 tells the occupant of no.17 she has had visitors, there are completely different visits but viewers automatically link the two, thus confusing even further the chronology of the film etc. etc! Great - a must see, at least three times to get to grips with it!!!
"Mulholland Drive" features great performances from both female actors, especially Watts and I can't understand why she wasn't nominated for Academy Award!
Oh and Attention BOYS!!! Film contains lesbian sex scenes... you're still here?! Go watch it :)
As "Closer" opens (to the strains of Damien Rice's "The Blower's Daughter"), Dan (Jude Law) and Alice (Natalie Portman) are bobbing in slow-mo towards each other on a crowded London street. He's a writer - obituaries - and she's a stripper - American - with hair as red as Virginia clay. They meet; they fall instantly in love. Next up Anna (Julia Roberts) is snapping Dan for a book cover (he's taken a stab at a novel with a weak title). Dan falls hard for Anna even though she's in love with Larry (Clive Owen), a dermatologist. When Larry gets wind of this (for he does) he conspires to sleep with Alice in punitive retaliation.
What follows is a ruthless roundelay of sad, sorry people cheating on each other because they (mostly) can, hurting each other because it feels (momentarily) good, speaking in short, stagy, stifled sentences that signify strength of mind and weakness of body - nasty, mean, unlikeable sorts unafraid to brutalize or defame each significant other via graphic sexual language.
Roberts is a national treasure. Her work here is effortless - thoughtful and pure. She's the veteran, oddly enough, the glue that holds this four-character set together. It's not her very best work but she makes it look easy. The hardworking Law impresses once again, displaying a softer side to his character. With six films in the can in as many months people are clearly taking notice. Portman, as she was in "Garden State," is a delight, bringing an inner maturity to the flighty Alice. And Owen does well with a truly despicable character (having played Dan on stage).
Portman and Owen got Oscar nods for this movie, which was well deserved and in my opinion they both were thebest in their categories that year.
Overally "Closer" is a provocative, surgical examination of sex and relationships, with great performances from every four actor.
Eyes Wide Shut is not only Kubrick's most gripping and refined film, but basically his very best. Of course many of you are scoffing already, falling victim to the "I hate Tom Cruise!!" mode of thinking which essentially blinds you to the monumental greatness of his performance. Batshit religious and psychological views aside, Cruise was the right and possibly the only choice to play Dr. Bill. Tom's then wife Nicole Kidman was equally fantastic as Alice Harford. And Sydney Pollack delivered up the performance of a lifetime.
Cruise and Kidman play William and Alice Harford, a physician and a gallery manager who are wealthy, successful, and travel in a sophisticated social circle; however, a certain amount of decadence crosses their paths on occasion, and a visit to a formal-dress party leads them into sexual temptation when William is drafted into helping a beautiful girl who has overdosed on drugs while Alice is charmed by a man bent on seduction. While neither William and Alice act on their adulterous impulses, once the issue has been brought into the open, it begins a dangerous season of erotic gamesmanship for the couple, with William in particular openly confronting his desire for new sexual experiences.
Eyes Wide Shut is about one thing and one thing only: sex and is stunning to look at.