Jonathan Glazer’s UNDER THE SKIN
A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I have a fairly high tolerance for ambiguity and very much enjoyed this intriguing movie.
I’ve always been impressed with Scarlett Johansson’s acting talent and at the same time somewhat mystified by her “glamour” image. In this film she has several nude scenes but even when they (sort of) involve sex the real focus is on her character’s sometimes fumbling personality as she picks of hapless young men while driving around Scotland.
Johansson’s role here is very different from the one she voiced so effectively in Her. Here she plays an alien come to earth who explores what it’s like to travel around as a human.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of the angel in Wings of Desire as the empathy on display there is the opposite of the emotional detachment her character displays here.
Photography, sound, editing, and music are superb. Especially effective is the shift from exterior shots to the odd and disconcerting place where Johansson’s character lures her victims. It’s like no place on earth I’ve ever seen or heard.
Movie review copyright © 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald