Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his ... See full summary »
Saxophonist Danny witnesses the murder of his band manager and a deaf-mute girl after a gig. Questioned by the police, he remembers only the orthopedic shoes of the killers' leader. So ... See full summary »
The two teenagers Jimmy and Rose spend their vacation at the small Irish sea-resort Bray. Out of boredom they observe other people and imagine wild stories about them. One day they observe ... See full summary »
Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie ... See full summary »
In London, the twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins the literature course in an ... See full summary »
Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
George, 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, 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, the local kingpin. Written by
George stops and orders Simone to get out of the car but doubles back parks and apologizes. Exhaust fumes are clearly seen from the rear of the vehicle as he left it running. When they get back in, he changes gear and pulls off into traffic. On the soundtrack however you can hear the car ignition kicking in (as in the key turning) which is inaccurate as the car engine was already turned on. See more »
[at her front door, to George]
Yeah? Do you want mum?
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MONA LISA is a complex, intriguing, multi-faceted combination of black comedy, love story, crime drama and adult thriller that demands repeated viewings in order to successfully peel back the various layers and get to the heart of the matter. What you find there is entirely up to you, but I believe it to be a sad and sensitive portrayal of a small-time crook trying to fit into a world that simultaneously rejects and baffles him following his belated release from prison. Hoskins, once again stunning in a role that could have been written for him, is never too naive and never too streetwise, more of an amiable combination of the two. There are obvious paralells to his unforgettable character in THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY - in that film, his character was a murderous thug who somehow remained worth caring about (largely by virtue of his utter confusion at the collapse of his criminal empire at the hands of forces unknown), whereas here, Hoskins' character is appealing because he displays an inner core of utmost decency - he seems shocked by the depths of depravity the underworld has stooped to in his absence, he is stunned by his ex-wife's refusal to let him see his daughter, and even the sight of his "tall, thin, black tart" (a brilliantly understated performance by Cathy Tyson) pleasuring an obese businessman with some light bondage leaves him disgusted and furious. In the film's latter stages, he simmers and seethes like a faulty pressure cooker, and having been by his side throughout his singularly upsetting voyage of discovery, we can share his rage and frustration.
If I had to pick fault with MONA LISA, then that fault lies in Robbie Coltrane's unconvincing performance as a wheeler-dealer who writes detective stories and sells plastic foodstuffs. It isn't Coltrane's fault that the character seems contrived and tacked on to the story just to make things a little more abstruse (one of director Neil Jordan's most consistent failings), but he seems to be plodding through his role indifferently, rather than living it the way Caine and Hoskins are. Nonetheless, MONA LISA is a very fine film and one that should be seen and digested by anyone with an interest in British crime cinema.
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