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A scathing look at Britain in the post-Thatcher era, Mike Leigh's Naked stars David Thewlis as Johnny, an unemployed layabout with a philosophical bent and a nasty edge. In the opening scene, he's committing rape, and before the credits even roll, he's also stolen a car to flee from Manchester to the London home of an old girlfriend (Lesley Sharp). The film's loose, sprawling narrative follows Johnny as he randomly makes his way through the streets of London, encountering a homeless Scottish couple, a nightwatchman and a series of women whom he charms and discards. He lives defiantly outside of the system, refusing to conform to the demands of anyone (including himself). ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Naked
As immersive and well-acted as any character study Leigh's done, but ultimately numbing in its insistence on focusing on this would-be world-wary philosopher.
Almost every moment in it is electrifying and alive in a way no focus-tested movie could match.
Leigh's extensive use of improvisation in rehearsal led to a razor-sharp final script, endlessly blooming with memorable dialogue that—while never less than credibly naturalistic—proves thematically fertile. [Blu-ray]
I wouldn't care to watch it again, but it had juice and left me feeling uneasy.
May well be Mike Leigh's greatest work, though it's a tough film to love or even respect.
Truly a masterpiece, this essential 1990s film is a searing character study and satiric critique of the British society under Thatcher with a towering turn from David Thewlis
Both harrowing and moving.
Raw, haunting and indelible. Where's David Thewlis' Oscar?
A rough and exciting drama that deserved every accolade.
Fascinating, but slightly off-putting
Fantastically grim and left field.
Audience Reviews for Naked
An unemployed - but intelligent - social misfit goes on the run to London following a back alley rape, but finds The Capital just as desperate and alienating as his native Manchester.
This is one of the hardest films I have ever had to review. Topics such as urban alienation, career-choice unemployment, leeching, homelessness, drug taking and sexual violence would normally send me running for cover; but what we have here is so well constructed and so skilfully acted that it transcends it own headline topics.
This is a classic case of car-wreck film making: You don't praise or celebrate much, yet it is deeply fascinating and even hypnotic. People are tap dancing on the edge of a metaphorical cliff - some are there of there of their own free will.
Director Mike Leigh's semi-improvisational style doesn't always work, but here it really delivers something unique. You feel that you are watching real life even though too much happens in too short a time period for that to be the case.
This is a wandering odyssey film and features a central performance - by David Thewlis - that ranks along the best ever witnessed in cinema. How the Oscar people could have (totally) turned their back on a performance as a good as this puzzles; although the film and actor won prizes in Cannes and New York.
This is the first film I have ever seen that takes on sexual coercion in a head on fashion. People that have put themselves in a chemical or social situation where someone has something over them. The greasy upper crust landlord (Greg Cruttwell) might seem over-the-top to many but I know a few people actually like that!
(For the record his actions would be deemed illegal in real life - if you have seen the film.)
What happens to the on-screen people the day after this film ends? Has anything really changed? For Johnny - our central anti-hero - it will be just another day to duck and dive, avoid all work and wind people up using his extensive back reading.
'Naked' is certainly a performance driven film, with very little storyline and as such is an insight into the main character's (David Thewlis) ways, charms, crimes and philosophys as twisted and as controversial for it's time as it might be.More
A dark, disturbing, and almost overbearingly bleak look at a drifter in England who crashes at his ex-girlfriend's flat to escape those that will be after him after he commits a heinous act. Definitely not a film for everybody, but one that is full of energy thanks to David Thewlis's incredibly realistic performance as a man who has no where to go. It's a crime Thewlis wasn't nominated for Best Actor here, he's really amazing in this film. While the paralleling of Thewlis's character with another monstrous one isn't as neatly executed as one would expect, this is still a worthy film that gives you an intense perception of the underbelly of certain English societies. Some of the dialogue is exceptional as well, some of the conversations Thewlis strikes up with the people he meets randomly is actually pretty riveting.More
deeply disturbing. is everyone in this film mentally ill? it's horrible and hilarious and very, very angry. the female characters seem uniformly masochistic and troubled but of course they'd have to be to want to associate with johnny and jeremy who so obviously hate women. thewlis' mad philosophizing antihero is brilliant and there is a kind of harsh beauty in this unflinching brutality.More
- Well, don't know if I want to get married, but I wouldn't say no to a proper relationship.
- What is a proper relationship?
- Livin' with someone 'oo talks to you after they've bonked you.
- I don't know what they want from you 'alf the time. What they start off liking you for they end up hatin' you for. Don't like you if you're strong, don't like you if you're weak; hate you if you're clever, hate you if you're stupid. They don't know what they want.
- Have you ever thought, right... I mean, you don't know...but you might already have had the happiest moment in your whole fucking life...and all you've got to look forward to is sickness and purgatory?
- You think you can recapture your youth by fucking it. You don't wanna fuck me. You'll catch something cruel.
- Have you ever seen a dead body?
- Only me own.
- Was I bored? No, I wasn't fuckin' bored. I'm never bored. That's the trouble with everybody - you're all so bored. You've had nature explained to you and you're bored with it, you've had the living body explained to you and you're bored with it, you've had the universe explained to you and you're bored with it, so now you want cheap thrills and, like, plenty of them, and it doesn't matter how tawdry or vacuous they are as long as it's new as long as it's new as long as it flashes and fuckin' bleeps in forty fuckin' different colors. So whatever else you can say about me, I'm not fuckin' bored.
- Well, basically, there was this little dot, right? And the dot went bang and the bang expanded. Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, to fish to fowl, to fowl to frog, to frog to mammal, the mammal to monkey, to monkey to man, amo amas amat, quid pro quo, memento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on a little bit of grated cheese and leave under the grill till Doomsday.
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