George (Bob Hoskins), after getting out of prison, begins looking for a job, but his time in prison has reduced his stature in the criminal underworld. The only job he can find is to be a driver for Simone (Cathy Tyson), a beautiful high-priced call girl, with whom he forms an at first grudging, and then real affection. Only Simone's playing a dangerous game, and when George agrees to help her, they both end up in a huge amount of trouble with Mortwell (Sir Michael Caine), the local kingpin.Written by
Bob Hoskins was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award, and despite winning many other Best Actor awards, he did not win the Oscar for this movie, losing to Paul Newman for The Color of Money (1986). Hoskins' performance in this movie was his only Oscar nomination for acting. See more »
Around 01:07:42, boom mic is visible on the car's window. See more »
[at her front door, to George]
Yeah? Do you want mum?
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Performed by Stormbringer
Courtesy of Filmtrax MC See more »
An 80s classic
Mona Lisa is a classic 80s low budget thriller that combines raw power with an emotional storyline resulting in an acting masterclass from a virtually faultless cast. Bob Hoskins is mesmerising from the very opening seconds of the film, playing lonely naive chancer George. He has just been released from prison after 7 years for taking the rap for a crime committed by local gangland boss Denny Mortwell (Michael Caine). Caine soon gets George back on the payroll, as an exclusive chauffeur for high class call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson). But George helplessly falls for Simone and gets sucked into her secret agenda for trawling London's seedy underworld - mainly prostitution. The film is a masterpiece from director Neil Jordan - easily his best work to date and has never been bettered - and the cast benefit greatly from an impeccable script. Jordan's ear for dialogue is never more evident than here - especially in Geroge's conversations with his only true friend Thomas (Robbie Coltrane). Anyone who thought Hoskins couldn't better his performance in The Long Good Friday in 1979 should take a look at this. He is simply astonishing and your eyes never leave a single scene he is in. But no review would be complete without paying tribute equally to the unearthed gem that is Cathy Tyson. Bearing in mind she was barely 20 when this movie was shot, she is incredible opposite Hoskins and whilst she has had more of a TV career since, it is surprising (and perhaps a shame) that she has never had perhaps the vehicle or opportunity to scale such heights again. However, Kate Hardie is also deserving of special mention as a fellow hooker, and her great portrayal in this movie has shamefully been totally overlooked over the years. Caine's cameo appearance is also menacingly good, and he plays the seedy villain with chilling ease. Throw in the great location work around London's Soho and Brighton, and a great tune from Genesis, and you get a presentation every bit as high class as Tyson's Simone is meant to be.
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