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My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)



Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 6,846

My Rating

Movie Info

After the death of his wife and his subsequent descent into alcoholic near-agoraphobia, a crotchety Pakistani intellectual convinces his shady entrepreneur brother to provide work for his son in this multi-layered portrait of the immigrant experience in Great Britain. Young Londoner Omar (Gordon Warnecke) isn't sure what he wants out of life, but his uncle Nasser (Saeed Jaffrey) provides a corrupt, capitalist role model as Omar graduates from washing cars for the old crook to running his

Jun 3, 2003

Orion Classics

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (0) | DVD (6)

It's Daniel Day Lewis, taut, intelligent, erotic, who is an emerging star.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fast, bold, harsh and primitive like a prodigious student film with equal parts promise and threat.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
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This is a uniquely plausible portrait of life in England, yet its appeal isn't limited to social realism -- it also has a twist of buoyant fantasy and romance

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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This new British picture raises enough issues for a half-dozen more conventional movies. And though this approach makes for a structure that's a little shaky, the film somehow holds together.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi are better at depicting a new milieu than in making an important or innovative statement.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As always, director Stephen Frears does a superb job of work when given a good script, and this is a very good script.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This seminal 1980s movie launched a plethora of now distinguished careers, including those of director Stephen Frears and Daniel Day-Lewis.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

There isn't a performance in this film that is less than excellent.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Expertly acted throughout, this remains a definitive snapshot of British life in the 1980s.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

[VIDEO ESSAY] "My Beautiful Launderette" is a milestone of British cinema.

June 28, 2011 Full Review Source:

An intriguing tale about race, sexuality, and politics in the New London, splendidly played by Daniel day Lewis as the gay punk.

June 17, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

When it works, it's a sophisticated and modestly ambitious attempt to cast a glance at a minority culture struggling to gain a foothold in a troubling time and place.

October 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi have fashioned a wonderfully fresh examination of the political and racial climate of Margaret Thatcher's Britain.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Unusual and quirky.

July 3, 2003 Full Review Source:

A gritty and imaginative English film offering a grim portrait of societal disintegration during the 1980s in a country rife with racial tensions and a thriving underground economy.

June 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

While Personal Best and Making Love have faded into obscurity as The Celluloid Closet footnotes, My Beautiful Laundrette has become a benchmark in the 80s new queer cinema.

May 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Kureishi's script brims with terrific lines that are expertly delivered by the entire cast, while the story's romance still seems powerful, fresh and honest.

August 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

At times puzzling due to the diverse panorama of subject matter, the film nevertheless corners touchy issues more than it flinches them.

July 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for My Beautiful Laundrette

The perfect film has to have all the right ingredients and also a sprinkling of je ne sais quoi. My Beautiful Laundrette is unmistakably the work of genius writer Hanif Kureishi, the theatrical richness of the direction, not to mention his experimentation of technique at the time, is classic Stephen Frears and the performances speak for themselves, needless to say all the right new up and coming actors were hired and the likes of Saeed Jaffrey and Roshan Seth always deliver the goods, no less so than here. The added sprinkle of je ne sais quoi comes partly from the theatrics of the production but also because of the time it is set in. 1985 is the icing, punk, politics, poverty. Everyone, no matter what colour, creed, sexuality etc needed a Laundrette, why not have a beautiful one? A true original, groundbreaking and impossible to recreate or impersonate.
March 12, 2014

Super Reviewer

Within the context of film history, this film is surely important as a pioneer in discussion homosexuality in a straight-forward, even endorsing, manner. But I can't help noticing that the dialogue is stolid and expository. Additionally, the gay relationship is not adequately set up. We get no looks of longing or attraction between Omar and Johnny; they rather suddenly kiss. No matter the sexuality of the relationship, the audience needs some clue about the characters' objectives. With Warnecke's performance, it is almost impossible to tell anything about his character's emotional life because during much of his screen time he has a plastic, "I-smile-just-because" grin, which often belies the events going on around him. Finally, we get a lot of generalized complaints about "this country," and the anti-Pakistani sentiment is revealed, but is this only what the complaints refer to? I shouldn't have to ask this question.
I think the biggest surprise about this film isn't the gay relationship but the fact that this was nominated for Best Screenplay.
August 27, 2010
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Had to watch it for a film class. Might not have watched it otherwise.
January 7, 2010
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

    1. Nasser: I'm a professional businessman not a professional Pakistani!
    – Submitted by Eric J (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Mein wunderbarer Waschsalon (DE)
  • My Beautiful Laundrette (Mi hermosa lavanderķa) (ES)
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