Inland Empire (2006)

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An actress is given a part in a new movie which is said to be “cursed” and finds the walls between fact and fiction start to blur to the point where she doesn’t know whose life she is living any more.

Trying to describe Inland Empire is like trying to describe a dream. You know you could never be able to put it into words and your feeble attempts to do so will be greeted with indifferent boredom. It makes David Lynch’s previous offerings Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway seem as inaccessible and incomprehensible as your average episode of Scooby Doo in comparison, and as such anyone unhappy with those films should do themselves a favour and steer well clear. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Laura Dern, but the fact that she appears in nearly every scene of this relentless 3 hour mindf**k is testament to her – previously unappreciated – talent; she is simply amazing. It also has probably the best use of sound I have ever come across in film. I won’t even try to pretend I understood it, but Lynch’s endlessly inventive cine-nightmare had me transfixed from beginning to end. I must admit that I found the ending a little disappointing, but I don’t really know what I was expecting from it; it’s one of those films you experience with your gut rather than your head and by the end my gut was telling me I’d just witnessed something special.

Dark, complex, nerve-jangling, spine-tingling, startling, visually arresting, uncompromising and above all, indescribable.

7.5/10

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