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Inland Empire

3.9 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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(Aug 14, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A magikael, fairy dusted ride through the darkest realms of our collective imaginations. Terrifying!

Amazon.com

Though Inland Empire's three hours of befuddling abstraction could try the patience of the most devoted David Lynch fan, its aim to reinvigorate the Lynch-ian symbolic order is ambitious, not to mention visually arresting. The director's archetypes recognizable from previous movies once again construct the film's inherent logic, but with a new twist. Sets vibrate between the contemporary and a 1950s alternate universe crammed with dim lamps, long hallways, mysterious doors, sparsely furnished rooms and, this time, a vortex/apartment/sitcom set where rabbit-masked humans dwell, and a Polish town where women are abused and killed. Instead of speaking backwards, mystic soothsayers and criminals speak Polish. Filmed on video, the film's look has the sinister, frightening feel of a Mark Savage film or a bootlegged snuff movie. Constant close-ups, both in and out of focus, make Inland Empire feel as if a stalker covertly filmed it. A straightforward, hokey plot unravels during the first third of Inland Empire to ground the viewer before a dive off the deep end. Actor Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) is cast as Susan Blue, an adulterous white trash Southerner, in a film that mimics too closely her actual life with an overbearingly jealous and dangerous husband. When Nikki and co-star Devon (Justin Theroux) learn that the cursed film project was earlier abandoned when its stars were murdered, the pair lose their grasp of reality. Nikki suffers a schizophrenic identity switch to Sue that lasts until nearly the film's end. Suspense builds as Nikki's alter ego sleuths her way through surreal situations to discover her killer, culminating in Sue's gnarly death on set. Sue's actions drag on because any sign of a narrative thread disappears due to idiosyncratic editing. Nonsensical scenes still captivate, however, such as when Sue stumbles onto the soundstage where she finds Nikki (herself) rehearsing for Sue's part. In this meta-film about identity slippage, Dern's multiple characters remind one of how a victim can become the hunter in their fight for survival. Lynch's portrayal of Nikki/Sue's increasing paranoia is, in its own confusion, utterly realistic. Laura Dern has created her own Lady Macbeth, undone by her guilt over infidelity. Even though Inland Empire is too long and too random, Laura Dern's performance coupled with Lynch's video experiments make it magical. --Trinie Dalton

More Films from David Lynch


Wild At Heart

Mulholland Drive

Blue Velvet

Stills from Inland Empire (click for larger image)








Special Features

  • 90 minutes of Deleted Scenes.
  • Includes the short film "Ballerina".
  • Lynch 2 (behind the scenes of INLAND EMPIRE with David Lynch).
  • Talks with David Lynch and Laura Dern.
  • More Things That Happened (Additional Character Experiences).
  • Theatrical Trailers (3).
  • Stills Gallery (73 Photos).
  • David Lynch cooks Quinoa.

Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux
  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Absurda / Rhino
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007
  • Run Time: 179 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QQFKYE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,699 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Inland Empire" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Inland Empire" was David Lynch's last full length feature film before he started the David Lynch Foundation, a TM-based organization dedicated to helping people through transcendental meditation. Considering the obscene runtime (three hours, almost to the dot) for a film of its transgressive narrative, I feel that Lynch knew this would be his last movie for quite some time because the poor guy just pours his heart and soul into it with everything he's got. Now, I loved it-- I understand the movie, but the reason I can't give it five stars is because the way this movie makes me feel when it's over is something that can't easily be shared with everyone because they can't understand.

The movie is difficult to explain in terms of plot-- something I find myself saying in a lot of the reviews I write for the things I like, but this one takes the cake in terms of movies. Let me try to put it as simply as possible: It's about an actress who gets sucked inside a movie she's working on, becoming the character she plays-- I know a lot of my fellow David Lynch fans are going to come down on me for this and I know that's not a completely accurate description but I'm writing this for the Lynch layman so please bear with me. Laura Dern plays an actress who is working on a movie which is being directed by a prestigious Hollywood director played by Jeremey Irons who reveals to her that their movie is actually a remake of a cursed Polish movie that was never completed due to mysterious and murderous circumstances. This information makes her and her fellow actors uneasy, and almost without warning, her whole world is unmade right before her eyes. That's about as specific as I can get without whipping out a flowchart and some diagrams.
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Format: DVD
`Inland Empire' is full of surprises. Convoluted and suspenseful we follow the story lines of successful actress Nikki (Laura Dern) who is waiting for the results of a tryout for a new Hollywood movie, `On High in Blue Tomorrows`. Soon she is visited by her new Polish immigrant neighbor. In her nosey way she pries information, but also intensely warns her of bad omens. She foretells that Nikki will obtain the part she has tried out for, but the story, is a remake and a murder will take place. She intensely relates folk tales, including one about a girl at the marketplace in an alley behind the palace who loses her memory. "Forgetfulness happens to us all," she relates. She also incessantly speaks of "unpaid bills" in a scathing fashion. Rebuffing the neighbor's pointed comments, the actress asks the suspicious elderly woman to leave.

The movie fast-forwards to the next day as the woman foretells in the narration. The gypsy fades out with a vengeance. Nikki gets the part, and on the set we meet Devon (Justin Theroux), her dashing, handsome co-star. The director (Jeremy Irons) facilitates a script reading where he relates that the film is indeed a remake; one where a murder took place and was allegedly cursed from the start.

From here the movie weaves its way through many scenes. Nikki's husband warns the young co-star of the consequences of sneaking out with his actress wife. Some feature Southern characters Billy and Sue in the movie, but they are so closely connected to their actual lives that we begin to lose our own grip on reality. Eerily suspenseful scenes show (Nikki or Sue) walking through a house in bewildered trepidation. Then, we are transported to the lives of the screen couple in the backyard. Next, we find them in Poland during the dead of winter.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With Inland Empire, (and I must add Mulholland Drive too), David Lynch, I suspect, has begun to turn inward, most likely mirroring the bizarre twisted view he has of Hollywood. He shows the Hollywood sign almost right away. I am sure to some extent he sees this word on a day to day basis, meeting big phony types, muscle with money, burnt out old stars, pretty boys, nymphs, foreigners, empty sound stages, lame lunch meetings, half baked projects, empty mansions with nothing going on, and all the horrid, strange people met and absorbed on that filthy rich littered landscape. Take all this, and twist it up, pull it, heat it, and mirror it upon itself, upside down and backwards through the Lynch mind and you have Inland Empire.

To say it was either good or bad would be doing the film an injustice. David Lynch's films have become so enigmatic, this one in particular, that to give a yay or nay nod to the film would be to feign some sort of rudimentary understanding of it. I suspect Lynch himself knows no more what he is doing than any of us do, say, when we are asleep, deep in dreams, floating in the abyss of our minds collective soup. This is not a bad thing it's just become surrealism, pure and simple. This is a surrealist film. It cannot be judged as most films are. It stands, pretty much, outside the scope of what I mostly see. I enjoy the change I assure you. Yet the film does not register with me as most films do. This film floats.

One part even seems culled from an old Abbot & Costello routine with Irons telling Bucky to move it down while Bucky comically moves it up.
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