Firstly I would say that if you have in your library John Mackenzie's THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY, also available in the Criterion collection, and Neil Jordan's MONA LISA, you already have a good specimen of what the British cinema was able to offer in the eighties. A fabulous actor, Bob Hoskins, is present in both movies; he won the best actor prize at the 1986 Cannes Festival for MONA LISA.
Neil Jordan began his career as a writer and is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting film directors nowadays. It's always challenging for the common viewer to watch a movie directed by a former writer. One often wonders why the director has left his books for the cinema. Some of these ex-writers use the camera as if they were handling a pen and the result is dreadful. Or too intellectual. Fortunately, with MONA LISA, Neil Jordan has created a stunning visual world and George and Simone's night wanderings through the London underworld an unforgettable cinematographic journey.
MONA LISA develops a lot of themes that will touch you in a way or in another. The different levels of the movie are so well mingled in the story that you will be able to watch MONA LISA several times and still discover little pearls hidden by the brilliant director. At the end of the movie, I just wanted to check the sound quality of the commentary track recorded in 1996 by Neil Jordan and Bob Hoskins and I found myself trapped into MONA LISA for an immediate second screening.
Apart from the commentary, this Criterion DVD offers the theatrical trailer and a one page written Neil Jordan commentary.
A DVD for your library.