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My Beautiful Laundrette

A milestone film in many respects: for launching the screen careers of writer Hanif Kureishi and actor Daniel Day-Lewis, and most definitely for establishing a new way of portraying gay and Asian characters in British drama. Ostensibly a rites-of-passage story about a young Asian man’s entry into the hard world of Thatcherite enterprise, the film has never been equalled for its complex portrayal of characters who are usually represented in polarised form. Best of all are the performances of Jaffrey, as the boy’s businessman uncle, and Shirley Anne Field as his mistress. The two embody all the contradictions which the film sets out to explore.

Director: Stephen Frears.
U.K., 1985.
Colour.
97 mins.

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