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.
Trainspotting with all the fun and laughs cut out of it, leaving behind a painful but honest portrait of London's underbelly, where the lot of the them are dragging their feet through life in a state of ennui, seeking any kind of sensual interaction to remind them that they're still alive.
Thewlis's character Johnny won't stand up for all this listlessness and goes on a midnight trek Holden-Caulfield-style. What he finds is that nobody, not even himself, is worth saving.
- Έχεις δει ποτέ πτώμα;
- Μόνο το δικό μου.
Σε περίπτωση μπουχτίσματος από χαζοταινιούλες του σήμερα, αρκεί να επικαλούμαι all time classics, που μου θυμίζουν τι θα πει κινηματογράφος.
Έχουμε και λέμε: η καλύτερη ταινία του Mike Leigh (hands down), μία από τις σημαντικότερες δημιουργίες των 90's, μία από τις σπουδαιότερες ανδρικές ερμηνείες όλων των εποχών, αναρίθμητα quotes και μερικά από τα ωραιότερα διαλογικά μέρη που γράφτηκαν ποτέ. You want more?
The most brutal and complex work on Mike Leigh's filmography. Defenseless people dealing with their meaningless lives in a world that its falling apart. This film almost goes too far, and remains as one of the most challenging of all time.
A summer with Mike Leigh - movie #3
If you're looking for a story about an intelligent, brutal, sadistic nihilist inflicting his despair on anyone unfortunate to come across his path, then this is the movie for you.
Leigh develops a character with a fatalistic view of an equally cruel, sadistic, wrathful god devoid of care and compassion for his creation. Does our character represent the inevitable outcome for a person holding, whether explicitly or implicitly, such a god image? This was the primary takeaway for me in this movie.
But if you're looking for a movie that offers even the slightest hope of redemption (I thought I caught a glimpse of such hope momentarily near the end, but alas it was not sustained) for such a character as this, then you might want to look elsewhere.
Thus began my love affair with David Thewlis & Mike Leigh - though I don't think either ever outdid themselves. Naked is my all-time favorite movie.
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.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)