North American Premiere, 2001 Toronto International Film Festival
One of the most widely admired American films of the 2000s and voted onto TIFF Cinematheque’s list of the greatest films of that decade, Mulholland Drive was first conceived by writer-director David Lynch as neo-noir mystery series for ABC. When the pilot was rejected, Lynch expanded it and resuscitated it as a feature film, which went on to win him the Best Director prize at Cannes before making its North American premiere at TIFF ’01. Naomi Watts became a star as Betty, a bright-eyed innocent from Deep River, Ontario, who arrives in Hollywood with dreams of becoming a movie star. When she meets an amnesiac beauty known only as Rita (Laura Elena Harring), Betty sets out to help her discover her identity — an investigation that takes the pair into the darkest depths of Tinseltown, and the darkest corners of their own selves. Frightening, funny, and gorgeously realized, Mulholland Drive is “a phantasmagoria of hot bottle blondes, cold-blooded monsters and all the things that go boo in your head …. a film to love, not just revere” (Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly).