Mona Lisa 1986
The brilliant breakthrough film by writer-director Neil Jordan journeys into the dark heart of the London underworld to weave a gripping, noir-infused love story.

George (Bob Hoskins) is out of prison after a seven year stretch and estranged from his daughter (Zoe Nathenson) as a result. Against the warnings of his friend Thomas (Robbie Coltrane), George goes to his old boss Denny Mortwell (Michael Caine) for a new job and finds himself as a chauffeur for a high-class prostitute named Simone (Cathy Tyson). Despite their differences, George finds himself growing closer to Simone, and when Simone asks him to search for a prostitute friend named Cathy (Kate Hardie), George agrees. George finds himself getting deeper and deeper into something that he doesn’t understand...and the danger to Simone and himself is growing.

Mona Lisa is an outstanding film from Neil Jordan that features a riveting performance from Bob Hoskins. Along with brilliant supporting work from Cathy Tyson, Robbie Coltrane, and Michael Caine. The film is definitely one of the great films of British cinema as well as one of Neil Jordan’s finest works. It’s also an intriguing study of a man trying to help someone and seek redemption for some of his past actions. In the end, Mona Lisa is a tremendous film from Neil Jordan.

Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane, Clarke Peters, Kate Hardie, Zoe Nathenson, Sammi Davis, Rod Bedall, Joe Brown, Pauline Melville
Country: UK
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:44:11 | 45 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English


Commentary - this audio commentary was recorded in 1996 and also appeared on Criterion's DVD release of Mona Lisa. Director Neil Jordan discusses the type of dilemmas George faces throughout the film, his relationship with the prostitute, the different locations they visit, and some of the common themes that run through his films. Bob Hoskins recalls his initial encounter with Michael Caine and how different scenes from Mona Lisa were shot, and addresses the balance between humor and drama in the film, George's relationship with the prostitute, etc.

Jordan and Hoskins at Cannes, 1986 - presented here are archival interviews with Neil Jordan and Bob Hoskins that were conducted at the 1986 edition of the Cannes Film Festival, where Hoskins won Best Actor Award for his contribution to Mona Lisa. The comments in the interviews address the film's themes and tone, the type of improvisation that was done in it, the symbolism behind its title, and some of the preparation for it. In English, not subtitled. (11 min).

Producer Stephen Woolley, 2015 - in this archival interview, producer Stephen Woolley, who grew up in North London, discusses Neil Jordan's view of his hometown, the look of Mona Lisa, and some of the similarities between the town he knew and the one seen in the film. In English, not subtitled. (14 min).

Writer David Leland, 2015 - in this archival interview, writer David Leland discusses the first draft of the script for Mona Lisa (which was written with the knowledge that Michael Caine, not Bob Hoskins, will be the main character in the film), Neil Jordan's adjustments to script, some of the more memorable/controversial scenes from the final version of the film, Bob Hoskins' performance, etc. In English, not subtitled. (20 min).

Jordan, Tyson, and Gilbey 2021 - in this new program, Neil Jordan, actor Cathy Tyson, and critic Ryan Gilbey discuss the conception of Mona Lisa, Bob Hoskins' performance, Jordan's directing style, some of the sleazy locations that are seen in the film, David Leland's original and quite rough script for the film, etc. The program was produced for Criterion in the Spring of 2021. In English, not subtitled. (30 min).