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A hard film to watch...
xtian_durden14 November 2017
David Thewlis shines in a bleak performance that never steps wrong, as a highly intelligent low-life roaming around the underbelly of London in this brutal but honest film about people who lack the will to function in their lives while all their knowledge and insight in the world becomes a heavy burden to them.

I know I might've missed some of its subtler themes in a post-Thatcher Britain, but I do comprehend its more transparent messages. It's a hard film to watch, but I would love to see it again just to hear Thewlis' marvelous bitter rants and Ewen Bremner yelling "Maggie!".
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Naked Review
kobbunb8 November 2017
Just overrated. There is nothing more than unconnected aphorisms with the environment or dialogues. Actually, there are more. David Thewlis's perform is really good and things are good in this movie but it's not awesome as much as people say it is. I'd rate it maybe more than 7 but my expectation was so high because of the people who talk about this movie.
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London in the raw
Lee Eisenberg18 September 2017
Mike Leigh has spent his career focusing a lot on the United Kingdom's underclass. Another characteristic of his works is the slow pace, so as to help acquaint the audience with the characters. Both of these are apparent in 1993's "Naked". The movie shows a stark contrast between the working class and ruling class, as evidenced by David Thewlis's and Greg Cruttwell's characters. But this isn't simply a story of who's good and who's bad. These are multidimensional characters. Basically, it's a look at the bare reality of life for large numbers of British citizens, while also touching on issues like alienation and misogyny. Thatcherism had eviscerated the ideals of the '60s, leaving people hopeless (and we can see many of the characters living in cramped spaces).

I don't know if I would call it Leigh's best movie - he's made a number of good ones - but it offers a good look at the desperation felt by large numbers of the UK's citizens in the wake of Thatcherism. The protagonist's conspiracy theories sound like something that Charles Manson would dream up.

Anyway, good movie. Also starring Lesley Sharp and Katrin Cartlidge (who later starred in the Oscar-winning "No Man's Land" but died of blood poisoning shortly thereafter).
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genius geezer getting hits of life .
Anthony El-megerhi4 April 2017
This movie's gonna get you into place called bewilderment , it will hit you constantly with different topics trying mostly meaning of life related, that will provoke the thoughts inside of your head like nothing you've ever seen before , hence,i can say Mike Leigh is skilled scenarist , what a philosophical movie man! I liked the character performed by David Thewlis he done the role surprisingly good , you will keep wondering whether he's looking for answers or he's got all the answers but he's in pain of the ignorant people surrounding him there're many scientific/philosophical topics opened in the movie some of them which you may consider as fallacies but somewhat the scripts are brilliant still, if you're looking for weird ,thought provoking , full of arbitrary dialogues kind of movies sir! ,then you go watch this movie if you may .
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crackling dialog and amazing performances in unforgettable roles
SnoopyStyle6 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Johnny (David Thewlis) has rough sex and accused of rape. He drives off to escape from her family. He leaves Manchester for London where he tracks down old girlfriend Louise Clancy (Lesley Sharp) who lives with Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge) and Sandra who's away on holiday. Johnny gets crazy with Louise and walks away into the streets. He encounters Archie who keeps yelling out "Maggie!" and Maggie. He has a philosophical discussion with night security guard Brian. He goes over to the distraught drunk across the street. He becomes taken with Cafe Girl (Gina McKee). He gets beaten by random thugs and stumble back to the flat. The movie also follows the rich psychopathic womanizer Sebastian Hawks aka Jeremy Smart who claims to be the landlord of the girls' flat.

This is Mike Leigh at his most aggressively strikingly brutal. The characters are all naked. They are bare and raw. The rapid dialog is exhilarating. David Thewlis creates an insanely memorable character. All the main characters are sharply brilliant. Even the side characters are unforgettable. Who can really forget about "MAGGIE!"? The security guard is one of my favorites. I also love the harp music. This is shocking and hilarious and a magnificent movie about unforgettable characters.
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Hard to watch
Red_Identity2 December 2014
I thought I'd been pretty much exposed to all of Mike Leigh's style, but with this he totally surprised me. It's definitely the darkest film from him I've seen, and very hard to stomach in some of its depictions. Thewlis plays a despicable character that really left me cringing, yet when all is said and done wen when it's needed, gives him a good bit of humanity. It's an amazing performance, completely devoid of any flash or style to just deliver some gripping acting. The film's narrative is also not as plot-driven as his other films, which maybe will alienate so many of his fans. This is recommended, even if I'm not sure I liked it that much at certain times.
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The Movie that will draw into and deplete you !
Sathesh S30 June 2014
This a movie where you shouldn't expect a story that has a start , serious of conflicts, and then a end. Its no where even near to that kind. The movie says abt a rapist who runs away from the town to his Ex- girl friend's place. The one thing that wont let you take your attention off it is David Thewlis's (Johnny) performance. You just can't think of a something better than this. The second thing is Mike Leigh's dialogues.. Oh hell ! how can one write his lines like this? And the way it was delivered was in full justice to it. The story - ahh there is no story to say from the movie. There is only a Life >> Naked Life in it. With the title you can expect some movie that is filled with the all nudity , love making scenes in it.. If you do so you are completely wrong ... The movie doesn't include too much of characters in it But every character occupies a decent space in the script.. And what if I said majority of them play strangers in the movie. I have mixed feelings for this movie..I did feel hard to get out of it even. But all i can say is Its strong, real and NAKED!
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Memorable for its characters so lifelike that you come away feeling that you know them personally
Christopher Culver17 June 2014
Mike Leigh's 1993 film NAKED is a drama on sexual relations -- how men hurt women, how some women accept that hurt out of low self-esteem and a desire to be wanted or supported. It is distinguished by its remarkably lifelike characters. Most of the film was worked out in improvisations for several months before shooting began. Leigh wanted his actors to create elaborate back stories for their characters, fully living inside of them so that when the cameras started rolling they would be completely convincing.

As the film opens, Johnny (David Thewlis) has to flee Manchester after a sexual encounter with a married woman turns into rape and she threatens to set her husband after him. Stealing a car, he heads to London to crash at his ex-girlfriend Louise (Lesley Sharp), gets involved with her flatmate Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge), and spends a couple of nights homeless in London. Interspliced with this are scenes of Jeremy, a rich real estate broker whose sexual conquests serve as an upper-class counterpart to Johnny's own. Naturally the viewer is led to wonder what will happen when these two men meet.

Something is wrong with Johnny, he answers anything said to him with a rambling torrent of words, a logorrhea that is a form of intellectual bullying; this deeply wounded man seems to feel the best defense against the cruelties of the world is a good offense. Only 27, Johnny is so wasted that he is taken for much older. In this, Thewlis's performance is one of the masterful screen portrayals of an eccentric or mentally ill person, like Dustin Hoffmann in RAIN MAN or Peter Sellers in BEING THERE.

But all of the characters here are memorable, and my thoughts have often gone back to them in the time since I saw this film. I do have reservations about the plot, inasmuch as the last scenes of the film (which were decided only late in the filmmaking process) too suddenly change the tone and may seem anticlimactic. Nonetheless, I would recommend this film and believe it a great one in spite of its undeniable flaws.
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Only the lonely, in a one off and original Leigh great
Naked is something of a welcoming surprise, when I first saw it in 94', and in my opinion, was one of the best films I saw that year. The film works, mostly due to an incredible and original performance, that of David Thewlis, where the other two female leads are almost as good, especially, Cartidge, as the dependent Sophie, a heroin user, who's forced into performing some sex acts by the the conniving, malicious, and lonely pig of a landlord, Jeremy (Crustwell) though we're not sure he really is one at this point, when he makes this sudden intrusion. That's the thing about this film, every character is lonely, one such character, a night security guard, guarding what high strung and reckless 90's hero Johnny, (Thewlis) comically terms as "Space" which honestly is what he really he is doing. The film has an explosive and dramatic start with Johnny screwing a woman, where if it's rape, it's discernible, but with Johnny taking off quick to avoid a bashing, it must be. He arrives in Manchester and takes harborage at his ex-girlfriend's, Louise (Sharp) place. She's painfully lonely, obvious as day, where you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize she envies the more outward and sex loving Sophie. Starting up a relationship, with Johnny, where really she's suffocating him, he goes out on a solo walk, into the night cold. Thus begins a journey where he meets a collection of people, first two homeless drug users, a pre Trainspotting face, and very un Spud like. Basically the others are unhappy, discontent loners, one woman even creeping Johnny out. Naked, I must warn you, is surprisingly, and bloody funny, from an A1 script, insightful and sharp, ala: Mike Leigh, where Thewlis is lumbered with a lot, bringing a performance of reality that just paralyses you. Too Crustwell, who I only saw in another film was impressive as his character was a horrible being, but there we're reasons. After all, he informs us he's going to commit suicide when reaching the big 40. And he can get rough too. Near the end, we really see the characters for what they are, and that includes Crustwell: lonely. Again being Mike Leigh, what we have is a situation set, through the motions movie, that probably would of had rehearsed improv, All 4 leads deliver solid performances, but none finer than Thewlis, where I had to see more of this guy. As this being the only other Leigh film, I've seen besides Meantime, which I really liked, this is that controversial, stand out from the rest of the directors flick, where we have a brave, daring and bloody film, one set apart from all of Leigh's others. At the end, as Johnny departs, the relentless loser, we're actually sad to see him go, in a film, every movie connisseur, should put down as a must see, but more so, a must see Thewlis performance, one which will have a lingering effect on the viewer, years after it's watch. The title reveals a lot too.
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gavin694215 January 2014
Johnny (David Thewlis) 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.

What to make of this film... is Johnny an anti-hero? We follow him, making him our protagonist of sorts, but can we really stand behind him? I should think not. Yet, we listen to his ramblings about bar codes, the Bible and Nostradamus and see how he affects people. Is he insane or just misunderstood? David Thewlis is an incredible actor and he is a joy to watch even when he might not be playing the most honorable person. Great to see him perform so strongly in the days before "Harry Potter".
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Mancunian Mahasiddha
chaos-rampant28 November 2013
Films, at least films that are not just a pair of comfortable slippers for the night, which some nights are just what you need, but walking boots for going places, should be next to all the other things about a certain tension and attentiveness in the viewing, demanding something, otherwise we've gone on vacation but didn't leave the hotel.

So I'm glad this was recommended to me, it has that tension, provided we're willing to go places. A bitter, seething young man flees Manchester after what looks like rape and crashes in London, to taunt, annoy, and try to enlighten a bunch of ordinary people he comes across. Thewlis gives us a layered self, first raging but later mellowed, crazy and secretly sane. London looks drab and lived. The camera is good enough.

But what makes this film worthy is wondering a bit about how you accept this man in your life as a viewer for these two hours. Isn't the film about similar 'viewers' who have to puzzle about this?

He's not easy to be around, deliberately so. He's meant to annoy us as much as the characters, we're meant to see that he has a problematic attitude regarding women, that for all his black-clad, sophisticated attraction he is a cranky and petulant kook, and yet we're as surprised as they are to find that he's not a complete jackass. That's the whole reason, it seems, of having the otherwise useless 'landlord' character in the thing, so that we can entertain the comparison with someone who's truly cruel.

So write him off or listen? I think neither.

I think this is pretty fascinating stuff if you can adopt a middle position. If you can see through his raging bs and halfmad rants about the apocalypse, barcodes and evilness of god, that he's neither above these people, better and wiser than them as he fancies himself, that they're not merely unthinking sheeple but people trying to carve decent, meaningful lives for themselves as best as they know.

Nor, on the other hand, is he as useless as some of the comments make him to be. Yes he annoys, but his confrontational manner is the filmmaker's way of jolting bored and desperate viewers. Notice how he constantly repeats questions, throwing the light back, trying to pry truth from small talk. There's nothing to be known about him, as if he embodies a desire we all have to upturn routine. Notice too how he often hovers ghostlike next to people, most clear in the nightwatchman sequence that ends with him having sex the other secretly fantasized about.

So this is what's beautiful about the film for me. If you simply admire John as rebellious and clever, or if you write him off as merely selfish and annoying, in both cases you collapse a more ambiguous, more generous view of things.

Namely, that he's as far from the truth, as sad and misguided as every other character, and yet that truth, the ground of a meaningful life, is born on a questioning, curious and participatory attitude not unlike his.

I'm not sure if Leigh knows this, but there's a rich history of Buddhist masters who taught with a confrontational, sometimes rude approach. A well known example '- What is buddha? Yun-men said: Dried sh-t stick.' The point seems to be: truly look, truly confront your self.

There's no problem of evil in Buddhism, evil is a Western obsession. It arises equally from John's overthinking ego as from the dumb unthinking of the Scot boy and the mute despair of the woman in the window, in every case being the 'dukkha' or unsatisfactoriness that Buddhists speak about.

Look in the film. Is he more mellow after the beating? As if these few nights of feverish wandering were a way of inviting the (just) beating he escaped from in Manchester. Nor is he truly changed after it, still the same smartass.
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If a sick head vomits
ozan19825 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This so called masterpiece is a good choice if you have too much free time and want to waste your time and energy with some inhuman's sick ideas. I can't believe the people who find the leading actor 'cool.' I think this movie is a total insult towards women. It's long and badgering dialogs, cheap score and sadistic discourse have nothing to do with cinema. Too bad I had thought it was a family drama before watching it. If you really want to watch something good on middle-class, existentialism etc. try Bergman, Haneke or someone from their class. At least they still have hope for the humanity. I just don't understand why people who don't believe in the future for humanity make films about it. If there is no future, why do you bother yourself with making films to tell it. Just go to park and lay down under the sun with the biggest secret of the history. And enjoy it. I never expected it but Leigh is a new Von Trier for me. Another big disappointment. Anyway, do not waste your time with this huge waste of 35 mm.
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No purpose
Chris L27 October 2013
In a drab, glacial, shabby London, Mike Leigh offers a disjointed succession of encounters you can't seem to grasp the essence of and that nothing, or almost nothing can be drawn from.

As the main character, you wonder in a mass of raw ideas that for some are incredibly under-exploited, like Johnny's past and his physical and mental condition, and that for others are rather unrealistic, like the feminine behaviour in general.

Paradoxically, the movie is very talkative in philosophical theories and other mystical tirades, and meaningless. Not to mention that with a duration of a little more than two hours, one can't say this movie is very digestible.

What was the goal of the movie ? Which themes the director wanted to address ? What was the message he wanted to convey ? So many questions left unanswered.
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Mike Leigh's future legacy !
Elisabetha4923 September 2013
Really, one of my most appreciated and thought-provoking MOVIE picture of the last 20 years ... !?

The screenplay &/or textual rendition/wording is just 'beyond' appreciation ... nor superficial understating ...;

The whole 'spirit' of the STORY is in the characters' loss of appreciation for their being/presence , at this time of history, ... in this factual societal awareness ... ; they are just at a loss for justifying their consciousness of, their very-short lived, presence into this TIME lapsed (sic) awareness odd presence ... !?

Bluntly, or straight-forwardly put, these dialogues are some of the most challenging I have encountered since some/most of the last 20 years ... !

Should you be looking for a thought-provoking, and challenging OPUS , to your better appreciated MOVIE experience, this NAKED item should do, wholesomely, totally, the works' ... ;

So much fine-tuned, realistic, true-sounding, factual, ... trustful !?!
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a great film
joespencer00729 July 2013
i loved it! a great film with lots of sad music,dark satirical humour and typical of the works of Haneke there were lots of animals. i also loved the work of mike Leigh were there were lots of sad songs and piano fights. best film of 2008 by far, and definitely reflective of contemporary British culture. I must recommend! Finally, typical of the work of Leigh there were lots of beautiful camera angles and piano fights. I also loved how Leigh used elegant camera angles which ironically juxtaposed the dark reflection of inner city Britain to the peacefully put together long shots. Best of all the film acts as a great reminder of the tremendous works of Leigh. My only concern is that the use of animals may have been overdone in particular backgrounds of scenes. Criticisms? well my one criticism is that the work of Haneke is not THAT great of an influence. Overall, a great watch!
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Don't waste your time
chase_g18 May 2013
An aimless, pointless, waste of time. Painfully overacted, especially by the nurse, but in general the endless speeches of David Thewlis reveal themselves to not be driving at anything in particular. The movie seems a self conscious attempt to show how much angst they can pack into a painfully slow two hours. If you can keep up with how fast Thewlis is talking you will realize that everything he says is only pseudo-intellectual trite word play. The fascination with rape and the scrawny posh psychopath are never shown to have any meaning, and there is hardly any plot to speak of. All of the female characters are an insult to women everywhere, as they fawn obsessively over a grimy tramp, and go on the occasional emotional tirade. The same melodramatic song is looped constantly. And if they were trying to send a nihilist message the millennial 'end is neigh' delusions only serve to remind us that Johnny is simply a nutter.
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A dystopian nightmare
reachtitan3 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Finally watched it. Mike Leigh's "Naked" is one of the most thematically disturbing and haunting movies you will ever come across. It tells the story of Johnny(Thewlis), a philosophical,world-weary drifter who is always on the run from the law.

After committing a rape in Manchester, he lams to London to live at his former girlfriend's residence. Thereon, he again embarks on a surreal odyssey on the London streets meeting people as queer as himself. From answering questions as deeply rooted in theology and metaphysics;spitting out doomsday prophecies as some boardroom lecture to satisfying needs as banal as a hot-water bath and some sex, Johnny does it all here, on this trip.

Director Leigh extracts performances verging on the edge of perfection from the entire cast and does so with superb improvisation which is quite evident,especially, in scenes that feature Johnny. Everyone is a knockout in the acting department, but,hey;then there is David Thewlis as Johnny.

He delivers a portrayal that has shades of Hamlet,Jimmy Porter,even Jesus(a very sado-masochistic and cruel one at that). I say Jesus paradoxically because in a way Johnny wants to save mankind from the ignorance of believing we are not doomed and affirming that God has manipulated us(mankind) for the sake of some cosmic warfare. It is indeed a cynical and paradoxical second coming of Christ. Thewlis gave his 'naked' body and soul to this film by devouring almost every book about religion and eschatology as a part of role-preparation. he evokes time to time disgust,pity.hatred and wonder in his hauntingly mesmerizing performance.

If you are looking for plot, there isn't any. Most of the film revolves around Johnny and his adventures. Fraught with existential overtones,it is a thunderous take by Leigh on the Thatcherite England which almost convinces viewers that it is a dystopian world we are living in; that apocalypse isn't far and we need something or somebody to awaken us from this nightmare.
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What happens if a butterfly flaps its wings in Salford?
Spikeopath6 April 2013
Naked is written and directed by Mike Leigh. It stars David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge, Greg Cruttwell, Claire Skinner, Peter Wright, Ewen Bremner and Gina McKee. Music is by Andrew Dickinson and cinematography by Dick Pope.

Johnny (Thewlis) is an unemployed wastrel who has to flee Manchester after indulging in his sexually violent proclivities. Heading for London to seek out an old girlfriend, Johnny encounters a number of people more hapless and lost than he is.

Proles, Plebs and Potheads.

Mike Leigh's brutal and raw character study remains as potent today as it was on release in post Thatcher Britain. Sometimes coined as a film for masochists or misogynists, Naked is actually for neither. For sure it isn't setting out to cheer you up, it's relentlessly restless and intense, it doesn't cut corners or operate under a banner of political convenience. Yet it does have intelligent depth to the point where the deeper you dig the more troubling Leigh's observations become. This allows Leigh and his brilliant cast to leave indelible images, to bring out themes that simply refuse to leave the conscious, where the observation of a society filled with sad, lonely and desperate people provides the discomfort of the human form stripped, well, naked.

Ever seen a dead body?

Only my own…

Johnny is an intellectual, an intelligent man, even charming, he can chat freely on the world and man's existence in it. But he has unhealthy appetites and a knack for latching onto emotional discord. Posit this with a backdrop of dirty streets, cheap cafés and grungy flats, and there's a starkness about the narrative that scars the soul, aided considerably by Dickinson's edgy violin based score and Pope's stripped back colour photography. A concurrent character study with that of Johnny is that of Jeremy/Sebastian (Cruttwell), the definition of Yuppiedom gone wrong, the devil with a Filofax who is both cruel and predatory, he's the polar opposite of scruffy Johnny, but both represent a London that's far from the bright lights and big city so many hopeless dreamers set off in search of.

A sick boy in search of Booze, Beans and a Bath.

The Jeremy/Sebastian axis feels very much like satire, this also is something that makes Naked so strong, it is quite often funny. True, the humour here is clinical and comes in spiked barbs, but there are laughs to be had here, the kind that deftly dovetail with a pervading sense of bleakness, finding wit in the most unlikely of places. What is Leigh trying to say in all this? As usual he isn't offering up solutions to his questions, he demands you observe and respond, while he asks his actors to take the material and respond in kind, which they do, led by a quite extraordinary performance by Thewlis. Cannes agreed, awarding Thewlis with the Best Actor Award whilst also bestowing Leigh with the Best Director Award. Both were richly deserved.

Never gratuitous, Naked is a sensitive and thoughtful film, yes it's tough to witness at times, it's meant to be, but this is a searing masterpiece that demands to be seen more than once. 10/10
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a groups of characters collide in a the bitter reality of hyper realist London
casper durden26 April 2012
The title of Mike Leigh's film "naked" does not describe a physical state but a state of mentality that the characters of the film face. These people have no jobs, no relationships, no families, and barely have an existence in a hyper realistic anarchy- a dark and bitter world created by the brilliant British director: mike Leigh. The film is set in a deeply depressing London. The characters we meet are so desperate and this is a desperate film. The hero is Jonnie, a 27 year old man who struggles to exist in the world he lives in. his desperation is one of the most devastating depictions of devastation I have ever seen on film. We first see him raping a woman and then stealing a car. What a brutal introduction to one of the most brutal relationships of an audience with a main character. The series of events the follow are mesmerizing. Every turn Jonnie takes, he meets a character who faces desperation much like his own. The film's plot progresses to a melting pot of desperate, psychopath and devastating characters. This film is a masterpiece. It features one of the most heartbreaking performances of all time by the brilliant actor: David Thewlis. Another performance I won't ever forget was from Katrin Cartilidge playing the character of Sophie. Her existence on screen is so weak yet so strong, her fragility is fascinating. Mike Leigh creates a world so bitter and sad in order to create cinematic poetry. This film's philosophic takes on life and humanity are so bleak, bold and honest. Hearing these takes is like getting punched in the stomach. This film had such a deep effect on me. I had trouble completing my day. It is nightmarish, bold, dark, devastating and ultimately, masterful.
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Naked was heavily clothed.
maltese-stallion1 April 2012
While this film featured a cast of characters played excellently by the actors, it's plot was much too flat for me to fully enjoy. I absorbed both Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence through as explored by the film's character, Johny, as well as themes and motifs explored by the modernist writer, Samuel Beckett. Eerily enough, throughout watching this 1993 British film, I constantly had the feeling that I had already viewed this film.

To end, Samuel Beckett's quote: 'I can't go on, I must go on' - while being a quote that may very well be overused by my subconscious - came to mind throughout viewing this film.
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Realism, or caricature?
brenjamesuk28 March 2012
A weird film! The good bit is David Thewlis' Existential p**s-taking discourse with everyone he comes across - the bad bit is - everything else. Also, it's way too long. The charm had worn off. Ends up being long-winded and pointless - whereas had it been shorter it would have been bitter-sweetly succinct. Johnny, is the archetypal street philosopher, though instead of being a wise vagabond - he is in fact an on the run vagrant - on the run from life, that is. Also - who the f**k is Sebastian?

All of that aside though, I have a real problem with Mike Leigh's films. He tries TOO hard to come across as authentic and real - and this effort becomes so conspicuous that it clouds everything else and it's all you can see. His films aren't authentic and real - they're the opposite of that - they're overdone and contrived. Most of his stuff ends up being a bunch of middle-class loveys performing their perception of an Idyll of plucky, chirpy, working-class folk! I suspect that the only thing that saves this film from becoming that, is the intensive involvement of Thewlis in developing the script and dialogue.

Basically Leigh's approach in depicting authentic realistic working class characters, ends up producing a facsimile that is strikingly recognisable to the original article - but one that exaggerates the more obvious features - to a cringe-making degree. He creates cinematic caricatures.
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Naked (1993)
Martin Teller10 January 2012
Bleak and cynical and often uproariously funny. The bleakness would be overwhelming if not undercut so frequently with the humor of Johnny's rants. Much of the credit belongs to David Thewlis, whose brilliant work is comparable to McDowell in CLOCKWORK ORANGE or DeNiro in TAXI DRIVER. His character Johnny doesn't so much straddle the line between good and evil as he does swerve back and forth over it like a drunk driver. Johnny's darker qualities are neither negated nor mitigated by his charm, but his charm is substantial, with a wonderful gift for gab, a sense of intellectual curiosity, and a sarcasm-tinged but nonetheless genuine compassion for his fellow man buried under the bile. When Thewlis is on screen, he's riveting.

Lesley Sharp is also superb as his ex-girlfriend, bravely attempting to maintain an air of stoicism in the face of Johnny's misanthropy, and Katrin Cartlidge is heartbreaking, if a bit shrill.

The sour note in the movie is Sebastian/Jeremy, whose absolute vileness doesn't ring true in the context of the rest of the characters, who occupy much greyer territory. Perhaps he's simply there to make Johnny look not so bad in comparison. However, his role is small enough to overlook his presence, or at least consider it as the one truly rotten part of an otherwise excellent whole.
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Mike leigh's best flick i've ever seen
ardavan_sh200618 December 2011
"naked" is one of the best flicks i've ever seen. i never forget the 1st watching, made me totally upside down, i didn't want to watch any other flick in a couple of weeks.( & i didn't!).. I wanted the influence to last, to engage my soul forever.

the story of a God-damned wanderer who has his own philosophy of life & talks TOO MUCH (some times f**cks ur brain with the dosage of talking n talking..!) is so gripping that becomes the obsession of your mind for a while.( if not 4ever )

Thewlis gives a memorable performance & Mike Leigh's deep touch of ordinary people never has been reflected better than "naked".

it's the kind of movie that u wanna watch n watch to revive the undeniable major effect...

the most memorable dialog is near the end, when Johnny's ex-gf asks him why did he ever come to London?

he answers: " i come to run in the marathon! " she becomes angry & wants a direct reply..& that's where Johnny (Thewlis ) says:

" well..i had to get out of Manchester 'cause i was gonna get a beating..& i came down here & uh...get a beating "

That night journey in London's low-life could last 4ever,..night after night & Johnny doesn't change it with anything, not even with money or even with considering a cripple leg.

a must see.
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Lots of cigarettes...
mauro volvox18 August 2011

I was told that this was one of the best British films ever made. Well, if that is the case, now I know why the UK is not an empire anymore.

What is the point of depicting the scum of the human race, weak and stupid women, losers, a succession of rape scenes, and a lot of smoking.

I guess I am stupid, unsophisticated, but I really do not understand what is the objective of these artsy-fartsy films. Is this how "normal" people behave? Should one care for those idiots pictured in the film? What do we learn from it? What is the message?

Funny thing is that when these "avant-garde" directors and screen writers decide to "create" something innovative they resort to the cheap trick of shocking the audiences with ugly sex scenes, lowlives, losers, drug addicts and all other types of human garbage, with the hope of gaining the "hearts and minds" of the "intellectuals" and the "thinking elite" which seem to enjoy such drivel.

I rather watch my garbage rot than watching something like that again. At least, the rotting of garbage is an useful and interesting biochemical process. On the other hand a movie like "Naked" is like garbage that never rots away, it stays putrid, rancid, bad-smelling and ugly for ever.
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This film is just too great and crazy for words - just watch it yourself and see
michaelnorman77720 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It is hard to describe this movie but to me - watching this movie is like going on a drug induced 'trip'.

I would advise you to watch alone if possible - not in a group setting - then you get more lost in the movie, i would suggest.

The first thing i want to say is amazing achievement to the director/writer Mike Leigh and esp the main actor David Thewlis.

These are both truly incredible and ground breaking performances and i have seen nothing as good as this before or since - in this style of film.

I think a lot of this was improvised and i believe the short script was formulated during rehearsal.

The opening scene is Johnny (Thewlis) 'raping'??? a woman in a dark dismal street and then fleeing from Manchester to avoid the dangerous brother of his victim.

He steals a car and seeks out an old 'girlfriend' in London to escape.

Johnny then goes on an brief but insane adventure/odyssey- during which time he interacts with various characters some of whom seem as odd and desperate as himself.

He seems to bully and exasperate the other characters by sheer intensity of will, superior intellect and a kind of mixture of spiritual insight, frustration and lust.

Johnny unscrupulously takes advantage of the kindness/vulnerability/stupidity/desperation of others and never seems to fail to find a bed (complete with accommodating woman)to sleep in. He repays the kindness of others with mental and sexual bullying - and with utter contempt.

The genius of the whole thing is that he is not just a bully - he really is a victim too from himself.

There are times when Johnny really gets under your skin and you actually feel like punching him to shut him up. He does kind of get his comeuppance from a group of louts - but you are sad too, when this happens.

Somehow you are secretly rooting for him as well as pitying and despising him.

You love and loathe this guy in equal measure is my analysis.

He seems like a caged animal and actually says one memorable line to the effect saying 'I used to be a werewolf- but i am alright nooowwwwwwww......' The 'now' tailing off into the howl of a werewolf.

The adjectives i would use to explain this movie and the emotions i felt watching it are - funny, crazy, bizarre, sad, pathetic, confusing, sexual, annoying, violent, twisted, nonsensical and brilliant. Often you see/feel a combination of these at the same time as you get sucked into the mayhem and genius of what you are watching.

There is much violence, sex and swearing throughout so just be warned - but it is done in a surreal way that does not offend me at all, but others more sensitive may be offended.

This film is a total one off and streets ahead of anything similar i have seen.

Attempting this movie really could have been a disaster but the genius of Thewlis and Leigh along with good and great performances from the other actors make this an absolute must see masterpiece.

Please just see it for yourself - only then will you see what i am trying to describe.
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