Mulholland Drive is a motion picture, released in 2001 and directed by David Lynch. The project initially was intended to be the two-hour pilot for ABC Television, hoping to recreate Lynch's success with Twin Peaks. When Lynch finally gave them the finished pilot, however, they wanted numerous cuts made for the sake of time and content. Lynch grudgingly made them, but then the network decided that it simply didn't work. Lynch kept control of the footage he had already shot, and with the help of ???, a French distributor, managed to finished the film. It premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, to much praise. He was co-awarded the Best Director prize at the festival (sharing it with Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There). It received critical praise in the US, being named Best Picture of the Year by the New York Film Critics Association, and even more notably was given a thumbs-up by ciritc Roger Ebert, who up until that point never liked Lynch's film. Nevertheless, the film had little commercial success.
While driving down Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, California late at night, a dark-haired woman has a car accident and afterward cannot remember who she is. She wanders down the hill into L.A., and sleeps in a vacant apartment. The next day, a young woman, who has just come to L.A. to try to become a movie star, moves in and finds her. Together, the two of them try to piece together exactly who the dark-haired woman is and what happened that night.
Other strange things, at first seemingly unrelated, are happening as well. A man tells a friend about a nightmare he had, only to have it come true... a film director finds his latest project (and later, his life) being controlled by shadowy mobsters... and an incompetent hit man steals a "black book".
All these pieces eventually comes together in an abstract and bizarre way, although it may take someone well versed in Lynch's films (and several viewings) to understand exactly what's happened.
Mulholland Drive is an actual road that twists its way through the Hollywood Hills outside of L.A.
Laura Elena Harring ("Rita", the dark-haired woman) is a former Miss USA.
Latina singer Rebekah Del Rio plays herself at a nightclub, lip-synching an a cappella version of Roy Orbison's song "Crying" in Spanish. (Much as Dean Stockwell lip-synchs Orbison's "In Dreams" in Lynch's earlier film Blue Velvet).
Lynch continues his trend of including The Wizard of Oz references in his films by making part of the film take the form of an idealized dream that incorporates aspects of the real world.
Michael Anderson, the dancing dwarf from Twin Peaks, has a small but odd role as Mr. Roque, a wheelchair-bound film studio executive. In order to make the diminutive actor appear normal-sized, Lynch outfitted him with a complete prosthetic body.
Lynch's longtime composer and collaborator Angelo Badalamenti appears as a mobster with very exacting tastes in espresso.