+ Q&A with director Mike Leigh

David Thewlis gives an outstanding performance as a morally questionable force-of-nature.

Image from Naked + Q&A with director Mike Leigh

UK 1993
Dir Mike Leigh
With David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge, Greg Crutwell
Digital 4K
Certificate 18
A BFI release

Mike Leigh’s portrait of male angst and social dislocation (newly remastered by the BFI National Archive) features a truly unforgettable performance from David Thewlis. Johnny (Thewlis) is a frenetic and destructive outsider who tears through the lives of others like an emotional tornado. On the run from Manchester, he seeks sanctuary with his ex-girlfriend Louise (Sharp) in London, where he immediately targets her vulnerable housemate Sophie (Cartlidge) with his unique blend of predatory charm. From there he embarks on a nocturnal odyssey across the city, dragging other disaffected souls into his orbit as he spirals towards his own personal apocalypse. Mike Leigh’s Cannes-storming film is a masterly, controversial, and totally unforgettable exploration of society morally adrift in the aftermath of Thatcher’s Britain.

Will Massa, Curator of Contemporary Fiction Film

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