Set in a dreamscape-like iteration of Los Angeles, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive follows an young woman named Betty (Naomi Watts) as she arrives in the city to pursue an acting career. When she arrives at the place her aunt has left for her, she’s greeted with an amnesiac who gives herself the name Rita (Laura Harring). Betty tries to help Rita discover her true identity, while the film deviates from the main plot to offer a series of unsettling and seemingly disconnected vignettes.
The mystery is pieced together in such a way that audiences would benefit from a second (and third) viewing, but also helps them empathize with Betty and Rita as they try to solve the puzzle before them. In addition to industry magnates and eerie assailants, the thriller offers some moments of respite in the form of dark comedy, which is often used to make a statement about Hollywood’s film industry – an industry that originally rejected Lynch’s proposed pilot script for Mulholland Drive. Nevertheless, the final product received a significant number of awards nominations, including an Independent Spirit Award for cinematography, which it won. It’s now considered by many critics to be one of the greatest films of the twenty-first century, if not all time. Here are twelve of the best stills from Mulholland Drive.