HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Pathfinder
Skatetown, USA
Donbass
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
   
 
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
   
 
  Mona Lisa Behind The Painted SmileBuy this film here.
Year: 1986
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane, Clarke Peters, Kate Hardie, Zoë Nathenson, Sammi Davis, Rod Bedall, Joe Brown, Pauline Melville, Hossein Karimbeik, John Darling, Bryan Coleman, Robert Dorning, Raad Rawi, Perry Fenwick
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: George (Bob Hoskins) has just been released from seven years in prison, after doing the time for his gangster boss Mortwell (Michael Caine), but the first person he wants to meet now is his teenage daughter, who he hasn't seen since he was jailed. However, when he visits the home of his ex-wife an argument quickly erupts and he is humiliated as the door slams in his face and her neighbours rally round to see what is happening - luckily his old friend Thomas (Robbie Coltrane) is there to rescue him. But the question remains: what can George do now?

He makes a poor decision in this, one of Hoskins' most acclaimed roles, which garnered him an Oscar nomination not to mention a host of plaudits and the pleasure of being the reason Mona Lisa was the success it was. It may not be as high profile now as it was back in the mid-eighties, but it still has its fans, and as in its heyday that is down to the performance of its star, who effectively carried the movie through a plot that was rather too murky for its own good, only clearing up in the latter stages. Yet director and co-writer Neil Jordan, here scripting with David Leland, turned this to the story's advantage.

So although he doesn't quite grasp it, poor old George is trapped in a mystery, and rather than being at the heart of it he actually closer to the periphery. The point being that he is never too sure of what it going on, never mind that he is having the wool pulled over his eyes as a pawn in a bigger plot than he is aware of, and while we can understand this state of affairs, we're not exactly up to speed with what is happening, leaving the viewer in a kind of limbo throughout. We do know that to go to Mortwell asking for another job is George's first mistake - except that his first mistake was taking the fall for him all those years ago.

Presently George, finding Mortwell keeping him at arm's length, is offered the position of driver to a high class call girl called Simone (Cathy Tyson). They don't exactly hit it off from the start, as you'll notice the script positively delights in keeping our much put-upon hero in the dark, so he is left to put two and two together on his own, but soon he is flattered by the attention of this classy woman who happens to make her living in decidedly non-classy ways. Simone was accused of being a shallow fantasy figure for the non-glamorous George, but Jordan doesn't pretend she is anything else, which makes the luckless dupe all the more malleable in the hands of those less scrupulous around him.

By and by Simone's real concerns become apparent as she recruits her new admirer into tracking down another prostitute, Cathy (Kate Hardie), a mission easier said than done. It does mean a vividly seedy recreation of some of London's least savoury haunts, filled with exploited young women and sleazy men doing the exploiting, and George has a memorable meeting with a fifteen-year-old girl (Sammi Davis) whose predicament, and her lack of propulsion for getting out of it, will make your skin crawl. Also worth mentioning is Caine as the incredibly sinister crime boss who we can tell George would be better staying as far a way from as possible, although he's in but a few scenes he's one of the star's best villains, bringing out cold-eyed qualities that Caine could do so effectively. But this was really Hoskins' show, and his bewildered little tough guy who is not as tough as he thought he was is what gives Mona Lisa its reason for sticking with it. Without him this would be too depressing for words; Hoskins supplies the humanity in a world sadly rejecting it. Music by Michael Kamen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1664 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: