starring Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Grace Zabriskie
written and directed by David Lynch
by Walter Chaw Nikki (Laura Dern) is an actress landing her dream role opposite Devon (Justin Theroux) in a film directed by the great Kingsley Stewart (Jeremy Irons). Alas the project, "On High in Blue Tomorrows", has a history in which a previous, doomed production ended as reality seeped into its fiction and the film's onscreen/offscreen lovers were killed. For a moment, it seems as though David Lynch's Inland Empire might be as straightforward as a haunted Hollywood genre exercise--but time slips, it's suddenly the next day, and as one character says to another, you're sitting over there. Displaced, distracted, the picture is a masterpiece that, for the patient, the active, and the curious, may be the most literal definition of "dread" captured on film. That feeling you get when Henry Spencer contemplates his feral baby in Eraserhead is the same species of disgusted, familiar fascination that infects this film like a murder of maggots.