Inland Empire (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner07/03/2007

Five out of Five stars

David Lynch's latest film is a delightfully weird drama that manages to be strange, terrifying, funny, moving, thought-provoking, disturbing and deeply frustrating, all at the same time.

What's it all about?
Like Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire starts out in a relatively coherent fashion before taking a giant nose-dive into impenetrable confusion. Laura Dern stars as Nikki Grace, a Hollywood actress who agrees to make a film with British director Kingsley Stewart (Jeremy Irons) and womanising co-star Devon Berk (Justin Theroux).

As filming begins, Nikki seems to drift in and out of her real life, her fantasy life and the life of her character, with several bizarre people stopping in to make sinister pronouncements. On top of that, there's a Polish prostitute trapped in a hotel room watching a sitcom about rabbits, who just might be hallucinating the whole thing.

The Good
Inland Empire refers to the Los Angeles area but it could also refer to the surreal fantasy world which fuels Lynch's best films. As such, it's probably best not to tie yourself up looking for meaning but to just surrender yourself to it and go along for the ride.

The Great
Dern anchors the film with a superb performance and there's strong support from a host of Lynch regulars, including Grace Zabriskie (as a weird neighbour), Harry Dean Stanton (as a sponging co-director), Diane Ladd (as an intense chat show host) and Mulholland Drive co-stars Naomi Watts and Laura Harring as the voices of the rabbits (at least you know where you are with the rabbits).

There are several terrific scenes, including the weirdest use of The Locomotion ever seen on film and a wonderful closing credits' sequence in which a roomful of prostitutes lip-synch to Nina Simone's Sinner Man.

Worth seeing?
A must-see for Lynch fans, this is unlike anything else you'll see this year and if you can make it through the lengthy running time the rewards are considerable. A masterpiece (probably).

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Content updated: 18/10/2017 00:53

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