Mona Lisa

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An assured London-set thriller about the need to love. An old friend (Caine, looking like a man who sweats horribly into his pyjamas) gives minor-league villain Hoskins a job as chauffeur to a dauntingly elegant prostitute (Tyson). This triggers one of the most affecting love stories in recent cinema, between a short, overweight racist and the 'thin black tart' who helps him adjust to a world he finds alien and asks him to find her friend, who has vanished in the mire of big city vice. Plotting a slow descent towards hell, the film deliberately invites comparison with Taxi Driver, though Hoskins, unlike Scorsese's solipsistic avenger, is an utterly ordinary hero, romantic, lost among the pimps and hoods, at ease only when listening to old Nat King Cole numbers. A wonderful achievement, a dark film with a generous heart in the shape of an extraordinarily touching performance from Hoskins.

Release details

Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Neil Jordan
Screenwriter: Neil Jordan, David Leland
Cast: Bob Hoskins
Cathy Tyson
Michael Caine
Robbie Coltrane
Clarke Peters
Kate Hardie
Zoe Nathenson
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