Thursday, 17 July 2014

Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, for the most part, follows a beautiful and mysterious young woman (Scarlett Johansson) as she travels around the streets of Scotland in a van, picking up single men and taking them back to her dilapidated home with the promise of a one night stand.

Under the Skin is truly a thing of beauty. For many it will be too slow and arty to allow them to enjoy the film but scratch beneath the surface and what you get is a slow-burning sci-fi production which is as original as it is creative and compelling. The film has gained some notoriety for including the first Ms Johansson full-frontal nude scenes but if you're watching this simply for that reason then you are missing out on so much more.

Stripping back the cloak of film-making, director Glazer uses hidden cameras, undecorated rooms and non-actors throughout much of this production but none of that detracts, rather it adds so much more to a genre that some feel has become a little stagnant of late. It's especially refreshing to see more sci-fi thrillers coming out of the UK which rise above the cliched norms we so often see.

Johansson is beautifully seductive as the mysterious woman (we never get a name for her, in fact none of the actors in the film have names assigned to their characters in the credits) and will certainly be a draw for many viewers but a large chunk of the credit has to go to the real people, suddenly finding themselves picked up in a van by Scarlett Johansson and remaining brilliantly relaxed and calm about the situation throughout!

If you're looking for something different to watch today, something without the explosions and over-the-top CGI and fast-paced action, but rather something which grows, develops and entices you to continue to watch it, then UtS will make your day.