“I absolutely love this film and I absolutely don’t understand it, but I come closer with each viewing. Actually no, I do understand some of it, but it’s taken a while and the help of IMDB’s FAQ (Note: don’t go looking at it unless you really give up on solving it all yourself). For me, I categorize this along with Donnie Darko, Birdman, and Stay (among other films) where I understand just enough to be affected by it, but getting a full grasp of what happened and what it means remains and likely will always remain elusive. Like those examples, there’s such a beauty in the film and in the confusion.
I still remember the first time I tried to watch this. I knew the reputation it had, so I was determined to pay the fullest attention possible and understand it. I failed miserably. If you’ve seen this, you know the majority of the film plays out in a chronological order (with some weirdness). Then things get really weird. Then a whole other door is opened and things get scrambled, and even more weird. That first time, it had me until the scramble and then all was lost. I did some internet research (possibly looking at that same FAQ) and still couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
I watched it again some time later, with a little more info, and I could at least buy what the scenarios represented. I still couldn’t put it together to save my life. Tonight, I think it’s become clear, or at least as clear as it will ever be. I knew what to expect going in and what to look for. Reading thru that FAQ afterwards confirmed that I’d figured out most of it. There’s still a lot of detail that eludes me, but I love and appreciate this film even more now.
Confusion aside, there’s a lot of really good stuff here. This is arguably Naomi Watts’ career best performance. People talk about roles that show an actor’s range, but there’s few examples of that that come close to this. It’s the role that first got her noticed her career took off in subsequent years. Seriously, even if all the weird mysterious David Lynch stuff doesn’t do it for you, this is absolutely worth watching simply for her performance.
Now let’s just see how the drama around Lynch’s Twin Peaks revival plays out over the next few weeks!”