- Award Snub:
- Going by critics' Top 10 lists, Mulholland Drive was the second-most acclaimed film of 2001 (after Ghost World). Retroactively, the film has been deemed by critics to be one of the greatest films of the 21st century so far, being one of only 2 films since 2000 to crack the Sight & Sound's Top 50 poll in 2012 (the other being In the Mood for Love). However, at the Academy Awards, the film received only one nomination, for David Lynch's direction. He ended up losing to Ron Howard for A Beautiful Mind.
- Additionally, Naomi Watts' performance earned enormous acclaim from the critical community, earning her the National Society of Film Critics Prize for Best Actress. She was also the runner-up at both the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Associations. She unfortunately was not nominated by the Academy.
- Awesome Music: This is scored by Angelo Badalamenti, who's no stranger to Lynch, and he doesn't disappoint. Even if you hate the movie, you have to admit that the soundtrack's pretty good.
- Best Known for the Fanservice: Some people seem to think that the film apparently consists entirely of random weird stuff surrounding a hot lesbian make-out between Naomi Watts and Laura Harring.
- Creepy Awesome: The cowboy, the magician, Mr. Roque and the thing behind Winkies.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: This wouldn't be the last time David Lynch had doppelgangers of a woman named Diane.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- Diane. She's pretty pitiful, even after having her best friend/lover killed out of jealousy.
- The director In the first half as well, who gets an over-the-top Trauma Conga Line thrown his way from the word "go".
- Les Yay: Big time. And a major plot point.
- Narm Charm: The Evil Old Folks at the climax.
- Nightmare Fuel: While not as disturbing as say, Eraserhead, there are several moments which are quite horrifying. Of special note are:
- One-Scene Wonder: Melissa George and the Cowboy. Both get callbacks in the second half of the film. Also the thing behind the restaraunt.
- Retroactive Recognition: One of the backup singers during the "16 ways I love you" number is apparently...Brian Beacock. Yeah. That Brian Beacock.
- Signature Scene: The "man" behind Winkie's, widely considered one of the most effective jump scares in film.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: The 50's style musical the director is making. Likely an invocation.
- Tear Jerker: The ending, good lord.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible:
- A common reaction. Others find that while there are loose ends, the film is comprehensible to them. Salon.com has a plausible interpretation.
- The film was considered so incomprehensible by the studio that they made Lynch include a set of clues to the plot in the initial DVD release. Unfortunately, they made Lynch write the clues — and he wrote them in such a way as to heap even more fuel on the fire of Wild Mass Guessing.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: And this is pretty tame compared to most of Lynch's other films.
- The Woobie: Rita near the beginning.
YMMV / Mulholland Dr.