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6.9
/10
950 Ratings

My Beautiful Laundrette

Directed by Stephen Frears
United Kingdom, 1985
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Synopsis

Directed by Stephen Frears from a screenplay by Hanif Kureishi, this film is the story of an ambitious Pakistani Briton and his white lover, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, as they strive for success and hope when they open up a glamorous laundromat.

Our take

Working from Hanif Kureishi’s Academy Award-nominated screenplay, Stephen Frears’s portrait of life in Thatcher-era London proved a film far ahead of its time: bold in its ambitious negotiation of class, sexuality & identity politics. Starring the great Daniel Day-Lewis in one of his earliest roles.

My Beautiful Laundrette Directed by Stephen Frears

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1987 | Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Independent Spirit Awards

1987 | Nominee: Special Distinction Award

The idiosyncratic beauties of Laundrette emerge from how it grabs gray socialized realism by the horns and wrestles it into breathless submission. Coupling its blithe/flinty gay romance to the black-market comedy of Pakistani immigrants climbing over each other to get on board Thatcher’s “enterprise society,” the movie never proceeds as you’re expecting.
August 03, 2015
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Frears and Kureishi rarely emphasize typical dramatic beats. Time has a way of passing suddenly and inexplicably in My Beautiful Laundrette, and conflicts are forgotten only to resurface with the arbitrariness of actual life. The filmmakers routinely lead the audience down traditional narrative rabbit holes in any given scene, only to subsequently tunnel into surprising detours.
July 22, 2015
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Whereas it took a cluster of “kitchen sink” dramas to enfranchise the northern working class in the British cinema of the early 1960s, a single subversive movie did it for the Anglo-Asian community in the 1980s. My Beautiful Laundrette, written by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Stephen Frears, threw a Molotov cocktail of urban chaos, polemical ire, spiky comedy, and mixed-race queer sex into the so-called British Film Renaissance of 1984–86.
July 22, 2015
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