Jonathan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not sure what it is about Mike Leigh’s work that I love so much. On paper these films do not appeal to me in the slightest. The imagery dodges any real sense of glamorous style (which I am a sucker for), the scores fucking suck so hard that I love them for sucking, and prior to this revelatory love for Leigh, I harbored no interest at all in exploring English cinema.
Naked is about as hard of a watch as any. Moments of witty levity, while admittedly hilarious, are not enough to make up for the unrelenting brutality Leigh frames within this story. We follow just about the scummiest protagonist conceivable, only to be outdone by Greg Cruttwell’s Jeremy who is indeed the scummiest character to poison a screen, and are right there with him confronting the ills of post-Thatcher society. A society so uninterested in helping the working class is bound to give birth to those like Johnny. It’s as inevitable as the eventual demise of man (lol).
Leigh is so effective in his confrontational approach to film. I can’t put into words how breathtaking his talent for capturing complicated relational minutiae is. Noah Baumbach could never.
What I also love about Leigh is how he shapes every character to be the smartest prick on screen at any given moment. Every character has ammunition locked and loaded for all shot taken at them. It’s nothing short of brilliant. Aaron Sorkin could never.
Oh and performances across the board are obviously phenomenal but David Thewlis cemented his place in history with this one.
Naked is the poster child for dudes, in fact, NOT rocking.