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.
It seems like it wants to be real, but it didn't seem real to me at all. It's starts off with the main character gettin very lucky. I don't have a problem believin in good luck, but as the movie goes along, he just continues to get too lucky and it's due to the characters in this movie being nicer, dumber or just mentally weaker than people usually are in real life...
Realistically, people don't let strangers hangout, let alone sleep and shower, in their homes. This happens 4 different times that are not related. Realistically, people don't let strangers off the street travel with them on their job. Realistically, security guards don't let strangers hangout inside the secured property that they are guardin.
There's a few good moments within the social commentary delivered in the movie, but most of it's commentary is not worth mentionin.
This is one of the most watchable hard-to-watch movies i've seen. On the one hand, rape is a recurring theme. On the other hand there's so much pathos and insight and humanity, not to mention humor, that it's hard not to enjoy the trip.
There's a weird ambivalence about the movie. It's heavily naturalistic, nothing looks much like a set and i gather it's largely improvised. But there's also something stagey about it. The plot, i guess, is a little contrived. Not to say that it's implausible or heavy-handed, but it's convenient that things happen when they do.
I love David Thewlis and he does a lot of heavy lifting here. But the cast are mostly young actors really selling their parts, which i guess is some of the stageyness. I think if i was smarter i'd be able to say something definite about the film, something with a good, solid period at the end.
Part of the 30 Countries March Challenge. UK.
The polar opposite of Happy-Go-Lucky, right down the the leads' performances and their conception. Also, much like Sally Hawkins' unstoppable blast of sunshine, David Thewlis' deep-to-the-core misanthropy makes me feel like watching one of the best performances I have ever seen. Endlessly riveting and fascinating, with peerless performances from all involved. Most likely a masterpiece, but I guess it comes down to personal preference that the world and characters of Happy-Go-Lucky align more with my philosophy, so this swing to the other extreme has me resistant to it slightly. Still masterful either way.
"Resolve is never stronger than in the morning after the night it was never weaker."
I couldn't finish it. It was just waaaaaay too '90s social realism with a godawful score.
Loneliness, suffering, unemployment, insecurity, despair, rage, identity, anarchism, misogynism… These are just some single words to describe the ode to existential nihilism that is Naked; served by darkly and bleak but funny at the same time dialogues and fantastic acting. "Naked" from feelings, "naked" from relationships, "naked" from a meaning in life. You can replace the word "naked" with the word "free" if you please.
Johnny (um brilhante David Thewlis) é o sintetizador e principal vetor de toda a marginalização dos núcleos familiares que Mike Leigh aborda em sua filmografia. Curiosamente, Johnny não tem família, é apenas um excluído que passa o filme inteiro expiando seus pecados sobre a humanidade e divagando sobre a existência.
Talvez seja o filme mais sombrio do diretor, mas isso não o impede de ter uma forte vivacidade. Todo o mal-estar social que permeia a narrativa é contraposto pela energia acachapante da personagem central, que desestrutura a Londres noturna com suas feridas, sonhos e filosofia.
Acima de tudo, um filme apaixonado pelo seu personagem por aquilo que ele representa.
'he's a foookin geniius this geezer in he'
Took four or five times over the last few years to finally finish the damn thing, but I liked it a lot more than I expected. As a depiction of a completely unlikable character and as a deconstruction of cleverness in general and the British wit in particular I thought it was brilliant. The thread about the rapist landlord felt really pointless, though, as if only to give us someone to like even less than the protagonist.
(The commentary seemed to imply that Leigh felt there was diverging about the character we were supposed to grow to like or something, which seems nuts to me.)
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 189/764 (25%)