Criterion ports its supplements from their 2005 2-disc DVD edition, which in turn ported some supplements from their laserdisc version. Iíve always been a little let down by the features, I think because I was expecting more, and coming back to them I still feel the same.
The audio commentary, originally found on the laserdisc, is still a strong one featuring Mike Leigh, David Thewlis, and Katrin Cartlidge. With anecdotes about the production the track primarily concentrates on Leighís style of filmmaking, at least during this film. Thereís a lot of improvisation within the film, sounding as though most of it was made up during rehearsals, and the participants address what it was like to work this way. On top of that everyone talks about the characters, the filmís black humour, and the filmís critical success. In all itís still an engaging track and the best item on here.
Following this is an interview with director Neil LaBute. Running 12-minutes he talks about his love of Leigh's work and also touches on the similarity with his films, like the "Misogynist" charges both have received about their work. As a whole he offers a brief but interesting analysis of Naked, itís look and style, and its characters in this short piece.
A little disappointing is the interview with Leigh. Coming from a BBC program called The Art Zone, Will Self talks to Leigh about his career and Naked in what looks like a cafe. There's some interesting stuff but overall I have to say I found it a tad dry. The commentary with Leigh proved to be more interesting. The interview runs over 36-minutes.
And finally we get a short film by Leigh called The Short & the Curlies starring Thewlis as an odd little man trying to win over a Chemist/Pharmacist employee. It's rather charming and has a few smiles so it's worth checking out (it's also the complete opposite of Naked.) Leigh also provides an optional commentary over the film, talking about the humour and the performances, as well as pointing out some dated elements. Disappointingly like every other feature on here it looks to be simply upscaled from a standard definition source and is laced with a number of artifacts. The film runs 17-minutes.
The disc then includes the American Fine Line trailer, not the UK one like the laserdisc edition did.
The booklet contains the same two essays as the DVD edition, one by Derek Malcolm on the film and its place in Mike Leigh's filmography, and another essay by Amy Taubin, which focuses on the character of Johnny. Other than some minor adjustments (like placing dates next to film titles) the essays look to be the same.
Unfortunately, for some reason (maybe a rights issue) Criterion has still not included two supplements from the laserdisc release, which also never made it to the DVD. One was a Leigh filmography with clips, and the other was a radio drama called Too Much of a Good Thing Disappointing, but I assume it has to do with rights issues as there is more than enough room for these supplements on here.
Overall theyíre decent but Iíve always been sort of surprised there wasnít more, and Iím a little shocked Criterion didnít use this edition as a chance to maybe offer some more analytical features now that the film is almost 20 years old (which is a scary thought since I remember when this film came out and all of the accolades it received.) But at least what we get is good. 6/10