Simon Channing Williams
This was the movie which put Mike Leigh
on the map internationally, with his first BAFTA nomination as well
as the best director award and a nomination for Palme d'Or at
Cannes, and even 30 years after its release it's still easy to see
why. On one level, Naked is a social commentary about the
hopelessness of young adults in urban areas of the United Kingdom
around this time. On another level, it's a film which creates its
own universe and spins an extraordinary parable of carnality,
nihilism and aimlessness circled around Johnny Fletcher (David
Thewlis), one of the most idiosyncratic characters in film history.
He beguiles you with his haphazard intellectualism and repulses you
with his selfish ill-treatment of others, particularly women.
Johnny may well be both part of the problem and part of the answer,
claims Leigh. And perhaps we shall all be grateful that there are hopeless
romantics like his ex-girlfriend Louise (Lesley Sharp) who are prepared to give him another chance. We all
might need it one day.