Re-released on a new print to whet viewers' appetites for the forthcoming Mulholland Drive, David Lynch's Blue Velvet arguably remains the director's finest work. A young man, Jeffrey (MacLachlan) returns to his hometown and discovers a severed ear in a field. After informing the police of his grisly discovery, Jeffrey then launches his own investigation into who owns the ear. Jeffrey's sleuthing leads him to a confrontation with a beautiful woman, Dorothy (Rossellini) and her vicious lover Frank (Hopper).
Like many Lynch films, Blue Velvet has its roots in a children's fairy tale - in this instance it's the Brothers Grimm's Babes in the Woods. Yet unlike some of his more recent offerings (The Straight Story, honourably excepted) the director never loses track of his central narrative thread or the plight faced by his protagonists. Essentially a peek through the façade of small town American life, the film is indisputably a chilling affair, but what makes an extremely disturbing and watchable one lies primarily with the director's acknowledgement of the merits of a conventional plot, married with his own unique visual style.