Director: David Lynch
Stars: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd, Mary Steenburgen, Terry Crews
Disorientation is one of many byproducts you experience while watching a David Lynch film—reality becomes distorted, characters are oblique to the point where they no longer feel human, and the unsettling mood forever teeters are the brink of mind-warping horror.
Lynch has made better films than Inland Empire, but he's never made a more unnerving one. Clocking in a three-hours long, it's a marathon of strangeness, replete with modern-day Hollywood drama, 1930s Polish prostitutes, homeless people on Hollywood Boulevard, beautiful women breaking into dance choreography, and man-sized bunnies dressed wearing suits.
In a lesser director's hands, Inland Empire's parade of oddities would degenerate into self-parody, but not with Mr. Lynch. Shot entirely on digital video, it never looks or feels like a Hollywood movie; rather, it's a fever dream shot like a home movie and structured like a cinematic rabbit hole. You never know where Lynch will take you, or what sorts of visual shocks he has in store, but the ride is consistently hypnotic. —MB