Celebrate director Stephen Frears’ earlier work with this subversive take on Thatcherism and homosexuality that represents British romance in the 1980s.
Young Pakistani Londoner Omar is unsure where he is heading in life. His corrupt uncle Nasser proves to be a negative influence as Omar moves from washing cars to operating a run-down laundromat. After an encounter with previous school-mate and former fascist Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis), Omar hires him to work at the laundromat. Soon, the pair begins a romantic relationship that they keep hidden.
After they turn the laundrette into something viable and visually striking, it seems that Omar may be heading towards success in his uncle’s organisation. Johnny’s sordid past looms, however, and Omar’s conflicted loyalties to him and his immigrant roots threaten not only his success, but his very identity.
This complex portrait of the immigrant experience in Great Britain is a vital time capsule that was nominated for an Academy Award.