Video Review

Naked (1994)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Movie Rated: R; Genre: Drama; With: Lesley Sharp and David Thewlis; Distributor: Fine Line Features

When relief is as nigh as your remote control stop button, it becomes an act of will to sit through Naked, Mike Leigh's bilious portrait of a young loser. But David Thewlis' utterly fearless performance as Johnny, a rangy, homeless rotter who ricochets through London abusing the women he picks up, deserves your patience. It's a sustained rant that raises verbal sparring to the heights Robert De Niro achieved playing Jake La Motta; Thewlis is a raging bull artist. Whether he's philosophizing gently with disenfranchised drudges — a security guard, a poster hanger — or acting out his fury in squalid couplings, Thewlis makes you see the hurt Johnny causes himself as well as others. That's not misogyny, that's artistry. B+

Originally posted Jun 24, 1994 Published in issue #228-229 Jun 24, 1994 Order article reprints
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