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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, disturbing, but beautiful.
I first saw this film alone in a theater years ago when I had an afternoon off. I can still remember how its disturbing images haunted me for days after. It shows the dehumanizing, emotionally disconnected underworld of London prostitution. Bob Hoskins portrays a good-hearted loser, just released from prison. Usually loveable Michael Caine is simply hateful as a sleazy...
Published on 8 April 2006 by ****

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The DVD stops a few of times during the film ...
The DVD stops a few of times during the film only for a second and then restarts but I knew it was a used DVD and I am not put out by it
Published 6 months ago by Jane Eskdale


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, disturbing, but beautiful., 8 April 2006
By 
**** (Pleasant Hill, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this film alone in a theater years ago when I had an afternoon off. I can still remember how its disturbing images haunted me for days after. It shows the dehumanizing, emotionally disconnected underworld of London prostitution. Bob Hoskins portrays a good-hearted loser, just released from prison. Usually loveable Michael Caine is simply hateful as a sleazy mobster who gives Hoskins a job chauffeuring an elegant call girl (Cathy Tyson). While driving her to her assignations, Hoskins naively falls in love with her. He wants to protect her and feels jealousy as he waits for her trysts to end. Predictably, his amateur love is unrequited - she's a professional who has lost the capacity to feel romantic love. However, she does have an obsession; to locate and save a drug-addicted young girl who is also being sexually exploited by Caine's character. Like a knight on a quest, Hoskins sets out to locate the girl. In his search he visits the creepy haunts of young women enslaved in drug-dependent prostitution. His quest is successful, but his love is not returned. In the end however, he is really the only winner; he has a heart and still knows how to love. Bob Hoskins gives an achingly beautiful performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - without a shadow of a doubt!., 3 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
Without doubt the UK could be proud to have Bob Hoskins (1942 - 2013), amongst their finest actors, along with Michael Caine and Robbie Coltrane : who both co-star in this fantastic 80's drama.

It tells the story of a newly released convict, George (Hoskins), to act as a 'driver' to a mysterious call girl, Simone (Cathy Tyson), by his old crime/underworld boss Dinny Mortwell (Caine - at his best as a very nasty villain).

Soon after, George is dragged into the world he sought to escape, simply because he is 'taken in' by Simone - acting as a 'father figure' (as he only gets to see his own daughter occasionally, thanks to his estranged wife's disapproval).

They're attacked by Mortwell's associate, Anderson (Clarke Peters), then a cat and mouse game ensues when Simone tries to escape Anderson/Mortwell's clutches, they do eventually when the two gangsters are shot dead by Simone in a hotel.

Both funny and tragic in places, but what Mona Lisa does (to near perfection), is that it explores the inter-relationships between a lot (not all) of the characters : even if they're not onscreen for long, it manages to do that in less than a couple of hours : a brilliant excerpt of Phil Collins "In Too Deep", is a wonderful addition to the proceedings.

Perhaps that is why this movie is so appealing - and that's enough reason to have it in one's DVD (or Blu-Ray) collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Top Ten Films, 10 Aug. 2014
By 
Richard Allen (Wellington, Somerset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
The sad news of Bob Hoskins' death prompted me to revisit his films. Along with The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa has always remained with me as one of my favourite films. Watching it again after a gap of several years it has lost none of its power. Bob Hoskins' performance is staggeringly impressive, portraying a character with huge emotional depth. And Michael Caine is almost equally good in a deeply unsympathetic role. Adding superb direction and cinemtography to these performance has produced a film that for me is pretty much flawless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant performances by Hoskins et al. You will watch this again and again., 3 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Mona Lisa [1985] [DVD] (DVD)
Hoskins excels in one of his early starring roles as George, minding a top class hooker with inevitable connections to evil crime boss and seedier side of sex trade. 25 years on this film is still as fresh as when it first appeared; Michael Caine plays the East End villain with aplomb and Cathy Tyson is brilliant as a high class tart with a gentle streak. Early and very competent outing too for Robbie Coltrane as George's confidant. Set in contemporary (1980's) London so scenery is a little dated but the content is timeless and so well executed that this does not detract from the experience one bit. For 106 minutes anyone old enough to remember the Eighties will feel as though they have been transported back in time. Some critics have described the film as kitsch and it is true that the characters come across as lacking depth but I feel that this reflects the shallow and desperate nature of the underworld it depicts. This is an excellent example of British film noir and a classic of its time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God bless Bob Hoskins RIP, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Mona Lisa (Blu-ray)
Very sad to lose Bob Hoskins recently. I could watch any of his films for him alone. Here he plays an ex con who is released from prison and gets caught up in the seedy underbelly of London. Robbie Coltrane is his off beat friend. Michael Caine is the vicious seedy gangster boss. A great epitaph to Hoskins and a great film
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Driving Miss Simone, 25 Feb. 2013
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
Simone, played wonderfully well by Cathy Tyson in her debut film, is a high-class call-girl, doing the rounds of the hotels and posh houses of London, but her life wasn`t always thus, nor is it as problem-free as she likes to pretend. George - Bob Hoskins at his near-best - fresh out of prison, trying to make it up with his daughter, is taken on as driver to Simone, both of whom are `controlled` by a slimy Mr Big (a scary Michael Caine) and the smoothly terrifying Anderson, played with frightening force by Clarke Peters.
It was so good to see this superb film again after about 25 years. Hoskins and Tyson have a good and touching rapport in their many scenes together, Caine is suitably greasy, Robbie Coltrane doesn`t put a foot wrong as George`s mate, and even good old Joe Brown has an effective brief cameo, as do Sammi Davis as a much abused tart, and Perry Fenwick as a pimp.
The whole film is swathed in smoky atmosphere, whether in the seedy, murky dives of the London underworld or the prostitute-populated streets of King`s Cross. George is an oddly innocent observer of all this, while looking for a girl that Simone wants to find and perhaps rescue. George is falling for Simone, but Simone has other plans. The girl is played brilliantly by Kate Hardie (her dad, Bill Oddie, must have been proud).
There are obvious echoes of Taxi Driver, as well as of other films set in London`s seedier quarters, but Mona Lisa has a sad, moody charm all its own.
Hoskins is both funny and moving, Tyson was a real find back then (whose subsequent film career hasn`t quite fulfilled such promise), and it`s a movie well worth watching, or indeed revisiting if, like me, you haven`t seen it since its release. You might be surprised at how well it`s worn, and how ultimately touching it is, with an ending which manages to be both upbeat and downbeat at the same time.
A very good film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Woman Of Substance, 24 Sept. 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
Neil Jordan was, for me, one of the outstanding film-makers of the 1980s and 90s (a period during which there was something of a dearth of decent British/Irish films) with a string of fine films such The Company Of Wolves, Angel, The Crying Game and The Butcher Boy, and (my personal favourite) Mona Lisa, which provided a relatively original take on the British (being set in London) gangster film. Showcasing a career-best (along with that in The Long Good Friday), and Oscar-nominated, performance from Bob Hoskins as the salt-of-the-earth, but nervy, released jailbird, George, Jordan's film accurately captures the low-life London milieu of the 1980s with its seedy, dingy Soho strip-clubs, as George attempts to find his way in a now much-changed world. What also helps to set Mona Lisa apart from the majority of films of its type is its razor sharp screenplay and script, co-written by Jordan and, leading screen-writer of this era, David Leland.

Following initial rejection from his wife and teenage daughter, George is given a job via Mortwell (Michael Caine again playing Michael Caine, but to good effect here) as a chauffeur to 'going-up-in-the-world' prostitute Simone (Cathy Tyson), who has left her Kings Cross streetwalking career behind and is now working the Park Lane hotels and Highgate mansions. From some initially rather unconvincing scenes, Tyson grows into her role as the initially resentful madam, who eventually enlists George's support in her search for her lost friend and co-worker May (Sammi Davis). On the other hand, Hoskins impresses from the first scene of him, striding edgily across Waterloo Bridge during the opening title sequence, in a role which appears to have been tailor made for him. For me, pretty much all the high-points of the film are scenes involving Hoskins and Tyson, whether it be the initial hilarious scenes between the two (such as that where Hoskins, at Simone's behest and expense, decks himself out in leather jacket and Hawaiian shirt in order to be 'more respectable') or the superb denouement scene on Brighton pier where George's sense of frustration and betrayal come to a head.

In addition to the two central performances, Robbie Coltrane is typically excellent in a(n on-going) cameo role as George's mate, eccentric garage mechanic Thomas, who markets artefacts of modern art (e.g. ornamental plastic spaghetti) and with whom George has a running exchange of their ideas for potential fictional detective storylines (which begin more and more to mirror George's real-life dilemmas). On recently re-watching the film, I also noticed that playing the ruthless pimp Anderson is none other than Clarke Peters (who later became famous as Lester Freamon in the magnificent TV series The Wire). Also, look out for punk band Doctor of Madness' founder Richard Strange playing a Soho porn shop worker.

Although towards the end the film becomes (arguably) relatively predictable, Hoskins' performance (principally) catapults the film into (for me) five star territory (which even the inclusion of Phil Collins on the soundtrack cannot negate), leading me to rate Mona Lisa as one of the outstanding British films of the 1980s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and seedy., 26 May 2012
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This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
A romance story wrapped up in the dark and seedy world of London's underground sex scene. A very touching performance from the often clueless Bob Hoskins, with some comic relieve from a young Robbie Coltrane to occasionally lift the mood. Some fleeting appearances from Michael Caine as the sinister back man who pulls the strings. Glamour and sex appeal added by Cathy Tyson's performance as a sophisticated call girl. Watch it to find out if Bob gets a happy ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 16 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (1986) (DVD)
Great acting by Hoskins and Tyson, absolutely memorable by Caine despite appearing for a total of only 5 to 6 minutes; very focused and competent direction; first rate screenplay; wonderful photography; and a superlative soundtrack. Strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smile, 26 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Mona Lisa [DVD] (DVD)
The movie is a tad long winded but the plot is original and that counts for something. The movie is overall good with some of Britains greatest actors. We need more neo-noir movies.
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Mona Lisa [DVD]
Mona Lisa [DVD] by Bob Hoskins (DVD - 2002)
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