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3.7
781 Ratings

Mona Lisa

Directed by Neil Jordan
United Kingdom, 1986
Crime, Romance, Thriller

Synopsis

Bob Hoskins (who snagged an Oscar nomination for his performance) plays George, a small-time loser employed as a chauffeur to an enigmatic, high-class call girl in writer-director Neil Jordan’s brilliant, noir-infused love story.

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Mona Lisa Directed by Neil Jordan

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1986 | Winner: Best Actor

Academy Awards

1987 | Nominee: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Independent Spirit Awards

1987 | Nominee: Special Distinction Award

BAFTA Awards

1987 | Winner: Best Actor

1987 | 5 nominations including: Best Actress

Critics reviews

Suffused though it is with Neil Jordan’s wistful romanticism, Mona Lisa also has humour, often sparked by the woeful lack of social skills displayed by Hoskins’s character George.
June 05, 2015
Director Neil Jordan (Danny Boy, The Company of Wolves) does a good job of re-creating the dark romanticism of American film noir, and if the project does feel a little like a hand-me-down, it is graced by Jordan’s fine, contemporary feel for bright, artificial colors and creatively mangled space.
January 01, 1980
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What are people saying?

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    Superbly modulated and exquisitely atmoshperic thriller set in the sleazy clubs of Soho. The remarkable performances (Tyson and Hoskins followed by a reptilian pimp played by Cane) -only one among the many strengths of this perceptive film on identity (with strong class/sexuality/gender/race connotations)- yield a short diatribe on mutual recognition with full knowledge of the social barriers that need to be curbed.

  • Richmond Hill's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    A mordant fairy tale (aided by the Nat King Cole leitmotifs) with the grimness of the dark and dirty subject matter lifted by earthy authenticity and comedic elan. The naive heavy role fits Hoskins like a glove and I’ve not seen Tyson in a better role since. There’s nary a wasted shot and Jordan directs with brisk force. Sometimes not noticing mise-en-scene is as much the mark of excellence as showy set pieces.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    A book by John Franklin Bardin, the neglected American mystery novelist made quasi-English by his "discovery" there in the 1970s, is on display and under discussion throughout Neil Jordan's second and second-best film (The Company of Wolves' priority is unbudgeable). Bardin's stories, suffused with the loneliness of feeling and being (e)strange(ed), beguile us, a la Mona Lisa, unto half-smiles with their own.

  • Palmat's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    Very good movie where Hoskins, Bates and Caine really shines in their respective roles. I know that stories like this (gangster redemption et al.) might be dime a dozen but Jordan is a good enough director to make this movie soar. The photo and music also works well. In my mind one of the best brit gangster movies since it focuses on the human issues instead of violence, heists or turfwars. Recommended.

  • comeandsee's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    this is early, great jordan. he almost melts into the background with the direction, which is exactly what is called for. bob hoskins is fucking amazing, with the tiniest ticks and the greatest roars, he does it all. i also sort of love michael caine here. the lines are sharp, witty and the work of a writer who was to come to personify irish cinema. this is almost the perfect start from one of my favourites.

  • Pierluigi Puccini's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    Excelent neo noir. Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine are, for me, the De Niro and Pacino of the British Isles. It's great to watch them sharing scenes. Only some one as vulnerable and sincere as Hoskins could play convincingly and movingly a chauffeur ex con in love with the hooker he works for.

  • Mugino's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    It causes anguish to look at Hoskins' filmography after watching this -- why are there so few films capitalizing on his nuance and power in a lead role?

  • Dave's rating of the film Mona Lisa

    Bob Hoskins really is fantastic here. This is the first Jordan film I have seen and I really liked it. It had a definite Taxi Driver feel to it.

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