Mona Lisa (film)
original film poster
|Directed by||Neil Jordan|
|Produced by||Stephen Woolley|
|Written by||Neil Jordan
|Music by||Michael Kamen
Genesis (song "In Too Deep")
|Edited by||Lesley Walker|
|Distributed by||Island Pictures|
Mona Lisa is a 1986 British neo-noir mystery drama about an ex-convict who becomes entangled in the dangerous life of a high-class call girl. The film was written by Neil Jordan and David Leland, and directed by Jordan. It was produced by HandMade Films and stars Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson and Michael Caine.
The film was nominated for multiple awards, and Bob Hoskins was nominated for several awards for his performance (including the Academy Award for Best Actor), winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
George (Hoskins), recently released from prison, is given a job as the driver for a high-class prostitute named Simone (Tyson) by his former boss, Denny Mortwell (Caine). As George and Simone find out more about each other, they form a friendship. Central to this theme is Mortwell's wish for George to find out as much as he can about one of Simone's 'regulars', a wealthy businessman. George helps Simone in her quest to find Cathy (Hardie), an abused friend from her past. This leads to a violent resolution in the seedy underworld.
- Bob Hoskins as George
- Cathy Tyson as Simone
- Michael Caine as Denny Mortwell
- Robbie Coltrane as Thomas
- Clarke Peters as Anderson
- Kate Hardie as Cathy
- Zoë Nathenson as Jeannie (as Zoe Nathenson)
- Sammi Davis as May
- Rod Bedall as Terry
- Joe Brown as Dudley
- Pauline Melville as George's Wife
- Hossein Karimbeik as Raschid
- John Darling as Hotel Security
- Maggie O'Neill as Girl in Paradise Club
- Bryan Coleman as Gentleman in Mirror Room
- Robert Dorning as Hotel Bedroom Man
- Perry Fenwick as Pimp
The film received positive critical reaction when released in 1986. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote of the two main characters "The relationship of their characters in the film is interesting, because both people, for personal reasons, have developed a style that doesn't reveal very much." However, Vincent Canby, writing for the New York Times, dismissed the film as "classy kitsch." Halliwell's Film Guide argued "only this actor could make a hit of this unsavoury yarn, with its highlights of sex and violence. But he did."
Bob Hoskins was praised for his performance and was awarded the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Prix d'interprétation masculine at the Cannes Film Festival, and other awards. Despite this heavy acclaim, he lost the Academy Award for Best Actor to Paul Newman in The Color of Money; a sequel to The Hustler.
Awards and nominations
- Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984–2000, Orion Books, 2005 p54
- Ebert, Roger (2 July 1986) "Review: Mona Lisa" Chicago Sun-Times (Retrieved: 12 March 2010)
- Canby, Vincent (13 July 1986) "Movie Review: Mona Lisa (1986)". The New York Times (Retrieved: 12 March 2010)
- Halliwell's Film Guide, 13th edition. ISBN 978-0-00-638868-5.
- Mona Lisa at the Internet Movie Database
- Mona Lisa at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Mona Lisa at AllMovie
- Mona Lisa at Rotten Tomatoes
- Criterion Collection essay by Neil Jordan