Title: Under the Skin
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Krystof Hadek
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins
What It Is: Laura is a woman…kind of. She’s a woman lost in a world she isn’t familiar with. You see Laura looks like a normal woman, but she is in fact an alien. An alien that’s taken up a human form and is feeding throughout Scotland. We join her in her journey and we don’t exactly know what’s going to happen, who she’s going to run in to, or how it is she finds, and kills her pray.
What We Think: WTF! The film is visually stunning and Johansson gives a nuanced, and almost stoic performance. She does more with her reaction then she does with the minimal wording in the screenplay. There’s so much to like here, and at a brisk hour forty-eight it isn’t something that drags towards the art house boredom that could occur. Glazer is subtle and allows his visuals to carry the narrative instead of overtly using those same visuals as a crutch to make up for story telling holes. The falling action may throw some people and confuse them, but those with a keen eye for cinema will love this!
Our Grade: A-, Some of the stuff here is art house to the core. And Scarlett is in a totally different light then we may have ever seen her. She’s naked, and I’m not referring to her state of undress I mean to say here Laura is a vulnerable creature. She’s so one who only hurts other out of necessity, out of an insatiable hunger. Throughout we are on a ride through Scotland that we’ve never seen before. One of my favorite things as an aside is the absolute jaw-dropping score by Mica Levi. Here I’ve included a link to the song Lonely Void which is for me the pinnacle of this films score.