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Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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(Jul 13, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

In addition to boasting one of the quirkiest titles in movie history, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise is a riotous showcase for the formidable talent of Timothy Spall. One of the finest character actors to emerge from England in the 1980s and '90s, Spall gave great performances in Life Is Sweet, Secrets and Lies, and Topsy-Turvy (all for director Mike Leigh), and made memorable appearances in Vanilla Sky, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and many others. Here he plays Tommy Rag, a vile, uncouth salesman, determined to win "The Golden Vac" award as England's best door-to-door peddler of vacuum cleaners, unaware that his disapproving boss has sabotaged his chances of winning the coveted prize. Filmed on digital video, this over-the-top BBC-TV comedy was director Danny Boyle's rough-edged rehearsal for 28 Days Later, and its ragged visuals are entirely appropriate for Jim Cartwright's screenplay, which probes the desperate economy of England while plumbing the depths of Tommy's maniacal motivation. There's rich social satire to be found in this delirious mess, but the main pleasure comes from Spall, playing an ethically challenged lout on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Think Willy Loman with apoplectic road rage, and you've got the right idea. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Michael Begley, Katy Cavanagh, Caroline Ashley, Alice Barry
  • Directors: Danny Boyle
  • Writers: Jim Cartwright
  • Producers: David M. Thompson, Des Hughes, Hilary Salmon, Martin Carr
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Enhanced, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KOCH VISION
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001Z936Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,358 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'll always have fond memories of this movie. I first saw it at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, just 3 days after 9/11. You won't find a much tougher crowd for a comedic movie to premiere to than the one assembled for this particular screening, but such is the power of this film's dark humor that it was able to evoke convulsive laughter even from an audience this somber.
Danny Boyle, who soared with the British films SHALLOW GRAVE and TRAINSPOTTING, then fell on his face with the Hollywood duds A LIFE LESS ORDINARY and THE BEACH, got back in form with this effort, reborn of the freedom that digital technology affords today's daring (and invariably under-financed) filmmakers. He's obviously fascinated with the limitless possibilities for camera placement that the technology affords, embedding miniature cameras all over the sets to permit individual scenes to be viewed from a rapid-fire succession of perspectives. His editing and music skills, combined with stellar camerawork by noted dogme cameraman Anthony Dodd Mantle, results in a raw, exciting new `dogme-MTV' type of look ... a look that Boyle put to good use in his subsequent hit, 28 DAYS LATER.
But `look' alone cannot make a movie. You still need a script to work with, and Boyle is blessed here with an outstanding one from Jim Cartwright. The story is nothing less than a bold and brilliant comedic re-conceptualization of Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN for the digital age. And unlike Miller, Cartwright doesn't play coy with what the salesman is actually peddling -- you know right from the start that it's vacuum cleaners.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Director Danny Boyle has a talented eye for unusual situations and dark comedy, and does a very good job here with one of the most peculiar commentaries about depressed western economies that I can remember. "Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise" has one of the greatest titles in film history, and has great performances from Michael Begley as Pete, a disillusioned young vacuum cleaner salesman apprenticing under the insane elder statesman of aspiradora sales, Tommy Rag, played by the brilliant Timothy Spall.

The film is filled with over-the-top moments like vacuum cleaner point of view shots and a brilliantly choreographed synchronized vacuum cleaner dancing routine to the tune of "My Baby Takes The Morning Train" by Sheena Easton at the Golden Vac Awards. Perhaps no scene is more visually searing (and funny) than the sight of Timothy Spall undressed in a flamenco seduction complete with castanets. (Oh the humanity!) I loved the contrast between Tommy and Pete, and the backstory that shows Tommy's downfall and Pete's increasing moral sensibility as the movie goes on. The pivotal scene at the Golden Vac Awards which results in no end of emoting from Tommy, ultimately culminating with flinging a vacuum into the Atlantic Ocean in a scene of great pathos is brilliantly staged.

The film runs about 75 minutes and even though it has lots of razor-sharp edits, it still seemed a bit overlong for the premise. The actors do a great job here, with Spall and Begley forming an absolutely perfect opposing duo highlighting the seedy side of vacuum cleaner sales; Spall is a great actor and truly convinces you of his single-sighted malevolence in this role, while Begley's journey of conscience is utterly brilliant.
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Format: DVD
The title of this review doesn't refer to the film, but to the noble profession of selling vacuum cleaners, further ennobled by the door-to-door approach. Marauders of the working class homefront, these sales blokes (it's a British film) pounce with ferocious, rapacious glee on the unsuspecting denizens of modularized same-look-in-every-unit apartment buildings.

One such--indeed, king of sales-driven ferocity--is Tommy Rag, an overweight, overwrought maniac whose own motivational tape (i.e., he recorded it himself)--"Sell, sell, sell, f**king sell, f**king sell"--is set to heavy metal music. This is one of numerous hilarious pleasures of this intensely manic made-for-TV (BBC) film directed by Danny Boyle. Played by Timothy Spall, Rag is anything but ragtag, but does manage to rag unto near-nervous breakdown his new protege, Pete (actor Michael Begley), a rookie salesguy who transitions from "mixing cassettes for teenagers" to selling vacs, all the better to insure that his stripper girlfriend won't leave him.

The script by Jim Cartwright is perfect, and is matched with Boyle's perfect direction to deliver a short (75-minute) film that couldn't be any longer and retain its power without flagging/fragging the viewer. Spall is nothing short of miraculous here, an unstoppable force that seemingly only hurricane Ivan might bring down. His intensity is so palpable you can feel yourself quaking, shaking, and roaring every time he makes an appearance (which is, in fact, most of the film).

A comic bash that pounds and astounds, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise deserves a wider audience and more than makes up for Boyle's disastrous The Beach (w. Leonardo di Caprio; brilliant cinematography is its only saving grace) and lackluster A Life Less Ordinary.
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