MONA LISA (UK, 1986)
Written and directed by Neil Jordan. Dark tale and thriller of British hoods and whores stars Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane and other able Brit thespians. Hoskins is the nec plus ultra of cockney stars today. His third film was his first good one. In a supporting role he caught the attention of public and critics alike. This was "Zulu Dawn" (1979) conceived (and produced in South Africa) by Champaign-Urbana native and recent University of Illinois Ph.D. Nate Kohn. In his next film, "The Long Good Friday" (1980) Hoskins had the lead as an ambitious, big-time hood (Helen Miren was his mistress), and his star rose enormously. Some six films later, he was a small-time hood in "Mona Lisa" and was Oscar-nominated. The female star was a newcomer, Cathy Tyson, who has resurfaced with a vengeance in the acclaimed British TV series about prostitutes, "Band of Gold," currently on HBO.
Irish-born novelist, screenwriter and director Jordan made a small coterie of admirers with his second film, "The Company of Wolves," went on to major success with "Mona Lisa," and after three American films (two failures, one underrated) made a huge hit in 1992, "The Crying Game" (Edwin Jahiel)
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel