Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Mackay
Screenplay: Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer
108 mins. Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, some violence and language.
For all you folks who think that ScarJo is secretly a sexy alien seductress bent on eating you alive, boy do I have a film for you! It’s my review of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin!
Under the Skin is kind of simple. We have an alien or humanoid creature (Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation, Lucy) who arrives on Earth in Scotland, steals a van, and tours the streets, picking up lonely men for means of consumption and sustenance. That’s really what I can say on the plot, there isn’t much else to it. Oh, and spoiler alert, you get to see a naked ScarJo. Also, get ready to see some wieners.
Johansson is an incredible force of mood in this picture. She says very little, but you can certainly feel her journey. It isn’t easy to make you feel for this woman, but she pulls you in. Her and the camera are the driving power of this film. Glazer’s cinematography is amazing here. He put a lot of homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey; in fact, there is a lot of Kubrick in this film. Not just his strengths, but also a few weaknesses. For example, there are stretches of this film where I find the plot repetitive and nothing new. It drags……..on and on. I personally feel as though the director of a film is the captain of the ship, giving us a tour of the surrounding areas. He decides which directions we will take. He tells us to look out to the starboard side to see this or the port side of the ship to see that. I feel as though Glazer, just like Kubrick often did, gets up and jumps off the boat, leaving us to fend for ourselves. His presence is just gone from the middle of the film and he doesn’t come back until the incredibly disturbing finale.
Under the Skin has a lot of wins, and a lot of losses. Either way, this film is at least worth a viewing. Check it out at least once, and stay until the end.
-Kyle A. Goethe