For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ranting at strangers, and meeting characters in plights very much like his own.
How to review your favourite film, or even worse, how to review your favourite film when that film is Mike Leigh's Naked?
Naked starts of rough and only gets bleeker. But that's only a small part of what makes this a masterpiece.
First and foremost Naked is abouth David Thewlis' character Johnny, unenmployed both by choice and by circumstance, who personifies the ugly side most commonly shoved under the carpet in favour of the success stories. Yes, we're talking post-Thatcher Britain, but as far as I can tell there's many similairities to present time, and the world Leigh shows us is not limited to a certain era. But it might be limited to big cities.
Johnny is a man who…
Naked couldn't be more apt a title. Each character is stripped down to their core, sheerly acting out of impulse, and unable to hide behind any realm of theatrics. Urges come to their externally once simply well-posed selves and consume them, but not out of a blatant choice, more so just a dwindling down respect for conformity. Beings mope around the streets East London, unafraid to vent because Thatcher's era has ended and the aftermath is an individually segregated bustle. There Mike Leigh sets Johnny to his bleak Salinger-esque odyssey into the peeled-back essence of brokenness.
The nakedness isn't limited to strictly the people. Leigh seems to take everything down to an encapsulation to bareness; the walls inside the seedy…
It's difficult to figure out where to begin with Naked as there's so much to be unpacked within each of its chapters. To strip it down to the basics, the film is about an everyday philosopher named Johnny who both questions and embodies life's endless hardships. A whiskered and skinny David Thewlis plays this deep-thinker whose bad life choices are etched onto his scruffy, unwashed face. He's a thoroughly beaten down individual and a vagrant but his lack of definitive back-story makes him all the more enigmatic.
Mike Leigh's films have a kind of anti-realism to them. They're so ripped around the edges and grimy that they transcend the worst lifestyle you can possibly comprehend. This sounds like the most…
Naked is the perfect specimen of a film where the sum equals the parts. That may sound easy to do, but I've never seen a film do it better than this one does. When I say that, I don't mean that it's exactly as good as the camera work, the script, the acting, directing and so forth lead to. I mean that every aspect of this film perfectly reflects the character and the world he sees.
The camera work is fairly straightforward and stays pretty much out of the way. It's involved enough to create the sense of motion in the dialogue or pacing of the mind of the character but without ever being distracting. Thewlis, for his part, plays…
Years ago, the first time I saw this, I watched it dozens and dozens of times in a row because I loved it so much. It took me awhile to get over my little Naked addiction. I take that back, not an addiction, but It's an obsession I'll admit.
I think that obsession has returned but can you blame me?
Ok you can blame me, but whether it's the first time or the the 100th time (it's probably the 666th time I've seen this, just a guess) I've always loved this film. I love the philosophy within the rich dialogue. I love how no matter how many times I see this, I still get lost in the dialogue. Always manages…
Officially in my 'Dammit Shawn, why did you wait so long to watch this' category.
David Thewlis acts the shit out of the leading role and rockets his character Johnny into consideration for one of my all time favorite characters in the history of cinema. That's not saying he's likeable...he's absolutely anything but likeable; but my God is he fascinating. What I wouldn't give to see a couple more hours of him simply walking around empty streets at night and striking up conversations with random people.
This really is a dialogue film at it's heart. Much of the plot seems secondary, but when the dialogue is so bursting with wit and intelligence; there's not much else you need.
100!! Woo I did it! I proved to myself and everyone that yes, I don't do that much more with my time. But this movie, this movie is super heavy. It's a film that sticks with you and is one of those movies that will just pretty much depress you for the rest of the day you watch it. A masterclass in acting, it's a truly depressing and scary portrait of the violence between men and women, and the darkest, hopeless places people can go.
I am just in awe of this move. Sometimes I just throw it on in the back ground to listen to what great dialogue/performance sounds like.
Film #14 of The Alphabet in June
N for Naked
Easily Mike Leigh's bleakest film, through a gob-smacking performance by David Thewlis (yes and he even makes a werewolf joke) you are led on a dark night of the soul from which it is difficult to recover. I think I need to re-watch Happy-Go-Lucky now to get this out of my head.
Strangely Shakespearean; modern philosophy with a young, brilliant David Thewlis staggering about as the philosopher.
But also: isn't Louise the real hero here?
With a few re-watches, Mike Leigh's Naked is sure to be a future all-time favorite.
though provoking and well-acted, with a bit of dark humor.
id definitely recommend.
Fridays, am I right?
This is easily the second best Leigh feature I've seen if just because David Thewlis is such a perfect conduit for Leigh's peculiar mode of drama. He really should be far more annoying with his quirky, faux intellectual, Britishness than he winds up being pretty much because Thewlis mixes a pathetic and loving quality to his brusque asshole antics and language. The bits of the story away from his don't work as well, but function with the humour of some of his shorts nearly as well letting them at least function as pleasant distractions. The highlight of the film doesn't come with any of the romances or drugs or anything like that, but the short tour with the guard which…
Other than stating that this film's dialogue and soundtrack are really sublime, perfect, impeccable, pure, splendid, superb and foolproof and stating that David Thewlis' performance is one of the best of all time, there aren't many things to say than just random and contradictory thoughts so, here we go, Naked is hilarious, depressing, sad, funny, bitter, dark, thought provoking, philosophical, intelligent, poetic, violent, brutal, cruel, genius, raw, ironic, cold, sarcastic, cynical, unforgettable and, above all, very human and life changing.
A masterpiece that shockingly boasts high standards of discomfort. "Naked" breaks all boundaries of pleasure, and hits you so brutally in the face with its abstract idea. By the iniquity of being an antihero, Leigh's screenplay is so strongly written, and all in all, the dialogue is considerable. Furthermore, the realistic portrayals and renditions of each actor does darken the film a whole lot more. Particularly, Thewlis's approach, and his fashion in speaking is vivid in all the ways.
While the film may be hard to stomach, the consequence is by far, the leading slice out of all. Generally speaking, witnessing two sexually obsessed men escorted by disturbing backgrounds, and unstable behaviours, the film does a lot to it.
A nerve-wracking masterpiece.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 194/776 (25%)