Film: The Full Monty

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Film:

The Full Monty

Director: Peter Cattaneo
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

A group of unemployed Yorkshire steelworkers hopes to replenish their empty wallets and boost their flagging morale by following in the footsteps of the Chippendale’s strippers. These guys are hardly what you would think of as buff, and few can even dance. They simply take these problems in stride, because these are men with a plan—displaced, unemployed, and feeling suffocated by the women in their lives, they just want to earn a little respect. The dialogue and interaction between these men will have you screeching with laughter, but of equal importance is their…

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A group of unemployed Yorkshire steelworkers hopes to replenish their empty wallets and boost their flagging morale by following in the footsteps of the Chippendale’s strippers. These guys are hardly what you would think of as buff, and few can even dance. They simply take these problems in stride, because these are men with a plan—displaced, unemployed, and feeling suffocated by the women in their lives, they just want to earn a little respect. The dialogue and interaction between these men will have you screeching with laughter, but of equal importance is their sense of camaraderie and caring. First-time director Peter Cattaneo is a name to watch for; he easily conveys the sheer humanity of these people in their small town with their sad stories and irresistible sense of optimism. —Rochelle O’Gorman

Overtaking Jurassic Park as the UK’s biggest box office attraction of 1998, and winning one of its four Academy Award nominations, The Full Monty was the surprise world-wide smash of the year, it’s unexpected success reflecting the underdog inspiring message of the film itself. Leading a strong cast, it was Robert Carlyle’s appearance here which propelled him to sex-symbol superstardom and brought him high-profile Hollywood roles in Angela’s Ashes, The World is Not Enough and The Beach among others. The story revolves around the attempts of five unemployed grafters from the recession-hit industrial North to reclaim some of their dignity, which they attempt to do by the unlikely expedient of becoming male strippers. The film follows their struggle to become The Chippendales for real women, from their shambolic beginnings to their euphoric debut appearance in front of 300 hungry lasses! Saucy and spicy with a rocking soundtrack, The Full Monty tells of the triumph of spirit over adversity, reminding us that everyone can be special, no matter what their shape…or size. This is British independent film making at its very best, exhibiting the heart-warming truthfulness captured by many UK directors, yet eschewing their often gloomy negativity for an altogether more optimistic outlook: it’s a modern fairy tale in which all five Cinderellas get to go to the ball. —Paul Eisinger

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