Mona Lisa, Neil Jordan’s 1986 crime drama starring Bob Hoskins, Robbie Coltrane and Michael Caine, is one of those movies. In watching it last night, I realized it had the potential to be a great, quirky tale, but it suffered from a sometimes-plodding length despite all the talent involved. Some of it probably could’ve ended up on the cutting room floor, methinks, with no loss to the film … and likely a gain. Also, there was many strange events that weren’t fully explained (the rabbit Hoskins’ character buys for his boss, for example — did I miss something about that?), leaving more questions than answers.
Still, there was much good acting to be enjoyed, from Hoskins’ gritty performance to Caine’s suave menace. I’m not a huge fan of Jordan’s movies — I often feel they leave us feeling like we’ve eaten only part of a meal rather than a complete, satisfying one — but he’s done some good stuff, and Mona Lisa’s eminently watchable. Just not perfect.
Am I expecting too much? Perhaps.