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Inland Empire (2006)

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.


David Lynch


David Lynch
3,931 ( 2)

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4 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Dern ... Nikki Grace / Susan Blue
Jeremy Irons ... Kingsley Stewart
Justin Theroux ... Devon Berk / Billy Side
Karolina Gruszka ... Lost Girl
Jan Hencz ... Janek (as Jan Hench)
Krzysztof Majchrzak ... Phantom
Grace Zabriskie ... Visitor #1
Ian Abercrombie ... Henry the Butler
Karen Baird Karen Baird ... Servant
Bellina Logan ... Linda
Amanda Foreman ... Tracy
Peter J. Lucas ... Piotrek Król
Harry Dean Stanton ... Freddie Howard
Cameron Daddo ... Devon Berk's Manager
Jerry Stahl ... Devon Berk's Agent


A blonde actress is preparing for her biggest role yet, but when she finds herself falling for her co-star, she realizes that her life is beginning to mimic the fictional film that they're shooting. Adding to her confusion is the revelation that the current film is a remake of a doomed Polish production, 47, which was never finished due to an unspeakable tragedy. Written by Ted

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Story of a mystery...A mystery inside worlds within worlds...Unfolding around a woman...A woman in love and in trouble. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Bim Distribuzione [Italy]


France | Poland | USA


English | Polish

Release Date:

7 February 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Inland Empire: A Woman in Trouble See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,508, 10 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Camerimage Film Fest)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The instrumental music played during the love scenes is "The Colors of My Life" from the Broadway musical "Barnum". There are two different sets of lyrics to this song (sung by different characters who have different points of view). The lyrics concern colors and emotions and were intentionally omitted from "Inland Empire" in line with its themes of absence and loss. See more »


Nikki: Some men change. Well, they don't change - they reveal. They reveal themselves over time, you know?
See more »


Featured in Renegade Cut: Inland Empire (2017) See more »


Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
Written by Harold Adamson, Jimmy McHugh
Performed by The Mantovani Orchestra
Published by Universal-Polygram International Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP), EMI Robbins Catalog,
Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Dreams of a Dying Empire
14 August 2007 | by WriterDaveSee all my reviews

Taking the murderous jealous husband theme of "Lost Highway" and melding it into the dreams of a tortured actress theme of "Mulholland Drive," David Lynch fluidly immerses his recurring dark fantasies into a story revolving around a Polish-Gypsy legend and a cursed movie production and delivers his most experimental film since "Eraserhead" with his epic three-hour "Inland Empire."

The most experimental part of this is Lynch's use of a hand-held digital camera to shoot the entire film. While I personally prefer the deep texture of film over the superficial sharpness of digital, much of Lynch's trademarks translate surprisingly well to the new medium. Lynch's hyper manipulation of lighting, fading in and out of absolute darkness, super close-ups, transposing of images over one another, and making some scenes literally dissolve into the next frame, all come across sharp and artistically satisfying. There are points, however, where Lynch so repeatedly shows Laura Dern walking down dark hallways and dimly lit staircases into moody savagely lit rooms decked out with weird lamps that I half expect the director's next project to be a home decor line for the film-noir enthusiast.

There will be those who wish to discuss the plot of "Inland Empire" and insist on figuring it all out. Upon first viewing, I decided to simply enjoy the ride. At three hours, there's lots of filler involving chatty and dancing prostitutes (who play the role of a post-modern Greek chorus and at one point do a rendition of "The Locomotion" that is both horrifying and hilarious), a sitcom staring talking rabbits, and some sort of complex story involving a Polish carnival, while inter-spliced into the madness is a wicked little psychological thriller about an actress who literally gets lost in her new role. The best morsels are the interwoven scenes of Laura Dern (beat-up, harrowing, and with a cool Southern drawl) waxing poetically in monologue fashion about her tragic love life to a man (presumably a therapist) and some beautifully shot scenes that take place on a dark snow-covered street in 19th century Poland that seem to have been exorcised from a completely different and dreadfully thrilling film. Lynch, however, gives many clues for those wanting to dissect the piece: 9:45, room number 47, a magic watch (similar to the ring from "Twin Peaks: FWWM "), the "LB" tattooed on Dern's hand, the letters "AXXONN" appearing repeatedly on walls and doorways, Grace Zabriskie's bizarre telling of an "old tale" when we first meet Laura Dern's character, and perhaps secrets hidden in the dialogue of the prostitutes, the rabbits, and Harry Dean Stanton. The film is so long, and so jumbled, however, that I think it's better to digest it as is, unlike "Mulholland Drive" which was exhilarating to examine "between the scenes."

Lynch, forever in love with Hollywood as a city of dreams, is again master of the disembodied scene. Like Naomi Watt's mesmerizing audition scene in "Mulholland Drive" (which in no small non-ironic way launched Watt's career into the stratosphere) there's a killer line-reading about thirty minutes into the "Inland Empire" where you don't really care what Laura Dern is talking about or what film she is in, it's just you watching her playing an actress getting totally lost in her lines, and it's beautiful. Lynch's masterful juxtapositions of the profane with the profound, light with dark, beauty with pure terror, no matter what non-linear incomprehensible way they are presented, are true cinematic treats to experience for those willing to open their minds to the ocean of possibilities.

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