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Lost Highway

Posted by martinteller on August 16, 2008

I have an odd relationship with David Lynch.  I’ve been a fan for 20 years, and he’s done no less than 5 movies that I consider to be of superior quality, including one of my all-time favorites, Eraserhead.  And yet, I’ve 1) never seen any of “Twin Peaks” besides the first episode, 2) never seen any of his work in a theater, and 3) until now, I’d never seen Lost Highway.  I intend to take care of #1 and #2 eventually, but #3 wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for.  The film is undeniably Lynchian, spinning a fascinating and enthralling web that almost, but never completely, makes sense within its own nightmare logic.  Boiling the film down to its essence, I REALLY dug it.  But I had a few problems with the execution.  First, the casting.  Bill Pullman is good, except for the fact that I can’t watch him anymore without waiting for him to launch into the “In less than an hour…” speech.  But Patricia Arquette just does nothing for me, and Balthazar Getty just seems wrong, like he doesn’t quite understand the material (yeah yeah it’s David Lynch material, but hopefully you know what I mean).  Secondly, I don’t want to sound prudish, but do we need that many sex scenes?  I think Lynch might have a little crush on Arquette’s breasts.  And the soundtrack is half wonderful and half horrible.  Marilyn Manson (who even gets a cameo) can only make things worse.  I guess it’s mainly just the casting that bugged me, the others are relatively minor complaints.  I’m on the fence, it feels like there’s another Lynch classic here, and maybe it just didn’t latch on to me the first time.  I might buy it anyway and let it grow on me more.  Rating: 7


2 Responses to “Lost Highway”

  1. Brad said

    To comment on a 4 year old review, I agree with the casting. I found the recognizable faces incredibly distracting. I didn’t mind Pullman or Arquette that much who blended in for me. But Henry Rollins showing up as a prison guard, Richard Pryor out of nowhere, Gary Busey… They just stick out and ruin the film’s otherworldly qualities. It’s like stepping into an alternate dimension, and then suddenly there’s the guy from Black Flag. Kind of spoils the magic. Lynch should have gone with unknowns for this. (Although let it be said that Robert Blake and Robert Loggia are fantastic here.

    • Boy, I wish I remembered the film better! Maybe it says something that I don’t.

      As a sidenote, however, since writing this review I have seen all of Twin Peaks, including the movie (which I really liked). Still haven’t seen any Lynch in a theater, but the opportunity hasn’t come up. I hope he returns to movies some day.

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