Following the big-budget failure of Dune, David Lynch’s dazzling return to more personal filmmaking earned him a second Oscar nomination. The discovery of a severed ear leads clean-cut Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle Maclachlan) to uncover a nightmarish flipside to sleepy small town Lumberton, as he becomes dangerously complicit in the perverse relationship between tormented chanteuse Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and deranged gangster Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).
Informed both by the underground experiments of Kenneth Anger and the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk, Lynch’s visually arresting film has a singularly skewed power. Alan Splet’s dense sound design and the first of the director’s many collaborations with composer Angelo Badalamenti contribute to the film’s immersive texture, while Hopper is unforgettable as one of cinema’s most unsettling grotesques.
“The perfect shaken-not-stirred Lynchtini. Simultaneously a Freudian Mother of All Bombs, a satire on the Hardy Boys, a psychosexual audience crucifixion, an elegy for lost innocence and a genuine mystery.” Michael Atkinson
“Suburban America, freshly mown lawns and the tweeting of an artificial robin sitting alongside a dark underbelly represented by a severed human ear and a run-in with a psychopath... Taking the form of a surreal noir and as entertaining as it is horrifying, this is a film that is impossible to forget.” Justin Johnson
“Blue Velvet is the logic of dreams and nightmares translated into film language.” Nemanja becanovic
“Lynch was leftfield even in the 80s, but the mainstream has caught up to his ordinary-uncanny sensibility.” Phil Hoad