My Beautiful Laundrette

 (409)6.81 h 37 min1986R
Two youths meet after years apart, accept a business proposition to open a laundramat. They turn it into a video and neon palace rivaling some New York clubs.
Stephen Freers
Saeed JaffreyRoshan SethDaniel Day-Lewis
ComedyDramaLGBTQYoung Adult Audience
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Tim BevanSarah Radclyffe
R (Restricted)
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4.4 out of 5 stars

409 global ratings

  1. 67% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Reader XReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
50 years ahead of its time
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This story is largely about the white working class and the Pakistani immigrant class in Thatcher's UK. What puts the film ahead of its time is that no big fuss is made about the relationship between the two lifelong friends.
9 people found this helpful
Dr. Robert F. KnollReviewed in the United States on May 8, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A British Star Is Born
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A potential viewer gets a good idea of what's in store in Stephen Frears' transgressive interracial gay romance from the choice of the bluray cover image of Daniel Day Lewis licking Gordon Warnecke's ear. Criterion, the Rolls Royce of video reproduction companies, has offered another classic in "My Beautiful Laundrette". It's hard to believe that this social comedy critique of Margaret Thatcher's Britain is 36 years old and that it is so remarkably prescient about the class and racial tensions that affect the post Brexit country today. The royals never appear in "Laundrette" but the spirit of Thatcher's Britain is referred to in the dialogue of one of the main characters, a gleefully amoral Pakistani Briton businessman.
I love this film and its Criterion iteration for a variety of reasons , chief among which is its introduction of Daniel Day Lewis to worldwide cinema audiences. 1985 was his "annus mirabilis" or wonder year. With this film and with "A Room with a View", Day Lewis demonstrated his incredible range: from neo-fascist street punk ("Laundrette") to rigidly uptight aristocrat (View"). Four short years to his first (of a record three) Academy Awards for Best Actor in "My Left Foot" (1989).
"Laundrette" is by no means a one person show. Stephen Frears flawlessly directs a perfectly chosen cast in a deft and stinging script by Pakistani Briton Hanif Kureishi. Both director and writer bring their best stuff to this film. There are rich roles for veteran East Asian actors Saeed Jaffrey as the main character's materialistic uncle and Roshan Seth as the main character's disillusioned and alcoholic father. The younger generation of Pakistani Britons is well represented by Gordon Warnecke as Omar who is pulled in opposite directions by his uncle and father and is offered some sense of emotional/sexual/ business stability by his newly rediscovered childhood chum, Johnny (Mr. Day Lewis). There is a not quite romantic triangle involving Omar's very observant, very determined cousin whom the male elders of the family are trying to maneuver into marriage with Omar. Day Lewis's slyly suggestive smile when describing Omar's lovability to his cousin is an early indication of the complexity he would bring to future roles.
Day Lewis receives third billing after Jaffrey and Seth, but, make no mistake, this is Day Lewis's film. His character has the most developed arc: from drifting and alienated to committed. He expresses his love for Omar, whom he affectionately and playfully calls "Omo", double entendre intact. Johnny is in the process of becoming a worker, the indispensable manager of laundrettes and an interracial gay lover. He defies his class origins and becomes a bit of a pioneer, sexual and otherwise.
In 2021, "My Beautiful Laundrette" remains a relevant and witty film, satisfying in every component from acting to directing to writing.
The Criterion transfer, image and sound, is impeccable.
2 people found this helpful
Kelly KimmellReviewed in the United States on April 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Even now it's hard to find an LGBTQ+ movie that isn't a tragedy. This is a beautiful story that deals with heavy issues in a way that was ahead of its time.
8 people found this helpful
LohengrinReviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
I wondered why I hadn't seen this movie in all this time.
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I must have seen a preview and didn't like it. I didn't care for the movie. I didn't understand why the characters behaved as they did. The script seemed sprawling to me.
I admire the culture clash. I admire the daring sexuality. This movie could be where many people saw two men kissing the first time. I admire some lines.
But, it didn't work for me.
2 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on July 8, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Groundbreaking film about family immigrants racism and sexuality in 80s London
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My Beautiful Laundrette is a multi-level story dealing with family, immigrants, racism and sexuality in 1980s London. It centers around Gordon Warnecke who is caught up with his Pakistani immigrant family, anti-Asian sentiment, and his love affair with Daniel Day-Lewis. As he tells Day-Lewis he was beat up in school for being Pakistani, but now he was an aspiring capitalist running a launderette for his family. Warnecke has to deal with all these different issues pulling him in different directions. It’s a wonderful story with two strong performance by Warnecke and Day-Lewis. This was some groundbreaking material when it came out and still stands up to the test of time.
cathyReviewed in the United States on March 25, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Actors and Story are fab
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Anything w/ Daniel Day Lewis is great. So is this particular movie. Touching and real. LGBTQ issues and much more.
5 people found this helpful
Anonymous ReviewerReviewed in the United States on April 19, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
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One of the MOST TOUCHING films ever made, with a stunning performance by GENIUS, Daniel Day-Lewis.
6 people found this helpful
mmvReviewed in the United States on August 26, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Great topic. Bad execution
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The film's topic, which deals with race, class and sexuality, is great. But, the delivery of the topic is odd. It jumps around with no natural development from one thing to the other- and I don't think this is on purpose (part of some avant-garde intention).
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