Film: Naked 18 rating Year: 1993
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Country: UK Genre: Drama
Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge, Claire Skinner

Also see our Guide to Mike Leigh, or visit our Mike Leigh UK or Mike Leigh US stores, or our reviews of other Mike Leigh films Bleak Moments, Career Girls, High Hopes, Life Is Sweet and Secrets and Lies.

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Naked Synopsis - The story of Naked centres around Johnny, a mancunian on the run, who steals a car and drives down to London to find his ex-girlfriend Louise. When Johnny turns up at Louise's flat she is not in, but her flat mate Sophie is. Charmed by Johnny's wit and intelligence, Sophie soon falls for him, but is quickly dropped from his attentions when Lousie returns, and it becomes clear that Louise is the one person who knows Johnny even better than himself. When Johnny's interest levels start to drop and it become clear that Louise wants to have at least part of a life to herself, he hits the streets. Johnny's dissatisfaction with "normal" life leads him to engage with the people he meets and try to educate them in the realities of life. He is constantly disappointed that people can't (or don't want to) see life for what it is, and also how they can accept the role that life has chosen for them without thinking about it. When he meets the weak, frightened and confused he can indulge in his sport, but faced with a tougher reality Johnny has to confront his own frailties.

Review of Naked- Naked, in my opinion is probably the best British film to be made in the last twenty years. It has a director at the top of his game, an ensemble cast who seem to genuinely understand the directors unique film making process and underplay their parts beautifully (not always a given in Leigh's films), and two lead actors who are perhaps two of the finest "genuine" actors this country has produced in a long time. Mike Leigh's films are often brilliant but flawed. This particular film is his best and the only flaw in this film is that of the character of Sebastian, a loathsome and dangerous yuppy who seems a caricature (and and an overplayed one for that). I am stunned this film has become a forgotten classic. It took a very long time for the DVD to be released in the UK and when it was finally released it was to very little attention.
The reasons I recommend Naked are: 1. The performances of the cast and in particular David Thewlis and Lesley Sharp are incredible. 2. The stunning dialogue - in particular of the lead character Johnny. 3. The cast brought together here acts as a who's who of the most talented young British actors of the time.