Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1997
Directed by
David Lynch
134 minutes
Rated R

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Lost Highway

Given the critical and commercial failure of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) you've got to hand it to David Lynch for returning with something that, if less fragmented and obscure, is an arguably darker take on the human psyche. As ever, his films deal with the twin drives of sex and violence as disruptive forces set against the ordered rationality of civilized society. Whereas his earlier film dealt with incest and parental child abuse, Lost Highway delves into male jealousy and the female as its pathological inspiration.

Bill Pullman plays Fred Madison, a jazz musician living in the Hollywood Hills with wife, Renee (Patricia Arquette). She’s a bit of a party girl and he doubts that she’s at home curled up with a good book while he’s out gigging. Strangely creepy things start happening, Fred flips and before you can say “Mon Dieu” we’re into the story of Pete (Balthazar Getty), a young mechanic who is unfortunate enough to catch the eye of Alice (Patricia Arquette again), the bottle-blonde mistress of gangster boss, Mr. Eddie (Robert Loggia).

Lynch takes what is essentially a Raymond Chandleresque film noir and amps it up with his characteristically nightmare-ish hyperbole which fractures the everyday logic of conventional narrative cinema. It is this surreally oneiric transgression married to a superb cinematic sensibility which lifts Lynch’s films head and shoulders above any comparable works which either sit comfortably within the crowded horror-thriller category or its exploitational offshoots.

Patricia Arquette gives a wonderfully self-abnegating performance as Alice, the ultimate femme fatale but as ever Lynch gets excellent performances from so many of his cast, including, in a very Lynchian in-joke Robert Blake who in 2001 was tried for and acquitted of the murder of his wife as the gnomic Mystery Man.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst