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…
Mike Leigh peels back the glossy veneer of London, magnifying the rips in the wallpaper, the cracks in the wall, the chipped hole patterns dotted across the concrete. Modern life in a Tory led Britain is shown as a society stripped naked of its value, where its underbelly scrapes a living from the floor and the head sneers down at its working body through its amoral snout.
The only conscience we are given is through a broken tap, pouring out a rapid stream of thought from the mouth of a sewer rat, a wandering Mancunian motormouth prophet. His disruptive intelligence is as misapplied as it is misunderstood, an idealist unwilling to compromise with the degeneration of the world around him.…
The movie hacks at philosophy, never really delivering more than a glancing blow and often in the most superficial ways. However, it does manage to be philosophical in a strangely authentic way. You'll get a lot of it if you've read a few cliff notes to philosophy, but you won't truly understand what exactly it echoes. The "Conceptual" won't get another acting part until until True Detective (Season One).
I like it much less now that I am in my thirties.
Everything about Johnny is repulsive, from his undeniable acts of rape (and some critics have attempted to deny them) to his simplistic, nihilistic ramblings and conspiracy theories. He's emotionally and physically abusive, pathetic, and yet by the end he becomes the physical embodiment of humanity at its most empty so, when considering the larger context in which he lives, that which he represents becomes sympathetic. As an individual, he has no redeemable qualities, and, most importantly, he's not meant to. The film makes sure to present this character as worthless; nothing he says is particularly new or profound at all, and Leigh makes that plain. He's every isolated, asshole college male who feels he's special for reveling in the "nothingness"…
Mercurial, despondent, baffling. The scene w Johnny & Brian is one of the strangest, most poignant scenes, while any and all scenes w Jeremy Smart are some of the most shocking and resonant.
That these came out of acting & improvisation adds to the mystery lying in the depths of this film's creation.
Having only seen Topsy-Turvy and Mr Turner previous to Naked, this made one quarter of Mike Leigh's films for me. And I can safely say that, in the next year or so, I will be making an effort to seek out the rest of them. I'm certainly not covering any new ground here, but there is something so authentic about Leigh's work and the care he and those involve put into these projects.
Regarding Naked specifically, David Thewlis' Johnny is one of the most complicated characters I have seen and right up there at the top of the list of characters I hate myself for loving. He is a rapist and a degenerate and a hilarious genius. He takes the…
Interesting commentary about the class system and psychosis. Not very subtle. Leigh seems like he is convinced that humanity has reached an impasse. The protagonist, Johnny, has no redeeming qualities and the film portrays women in such a negative light. My favorite part of the movie was watching Johnny get the shit beaten out of him... twice.
Mike Leigh's grim, jet black social realist comedy drama is a film that encapsulates the cynicism, misery and disaffection of post-Thatcher Britain unlike any other. It is almost insufferably bleak and disturbing at times while at others blackly comic in the most twisted way. David Thewlis is outstanding in his committed performance as the manically depressed and eloquent yet violently misogynistic Johnny, delivering some of the best acting in a modern British film. It's a starkly brutal film, but an astonishingly well observed one that is as exhilarating to watch as it is difficult.
Reto Cinéfilo 2015
Una película estrenada en el año que naciste
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…