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Naked (reissue)


Stars: David Thewlis, Katlin Cartlidge, Lesley Sharp, Claire Skinner, Ewen Bremner, Greg Cruttwell, Gina McKee, Elizabeth Berrington, Peter Wight, Toby Jones, Susan Vidler

Director: Mike Leigh

Loved by 90 per cent of the world's critics, but not this one, nor I fancy the majority of the dvd-watching population, this is appalling minimalist cinema from writer-director Leigh, which might well have shared the title of one of his previous films, Bleak Moments.

Shot in all intents and purposes in monochrome (actually colour with the shades drained), this has little to do with entertainment or cinema.

A drifter (the hangdog Thewlis) turns up at his ex-girlkfriend's ramshackle flat and proceeds to couple with his gothic friend and anyone else who comes within range, all of whom are quite ready for instant sex.

As a portrait of deadbeats, this is charmless, clumsy, cramped and only occasionally amusing. Admittedly unlike any Mike Leigh film you've ever seen, it could almost be a cure for insomnia - but if you've had a hard day and feel like putting your head in the gas oven, these mannered manic depressives will give you a shove.

David Quinlan

UK 1993. UK Distributor: BFI. Metrocolor.
131 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Nov 2021