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Under the Skin (2014)Im a big fan of Director Jonathan Glazers previous work Sexy Beast so… More Im a big fan of Director Jonathan Glazers previous work Sexy Beast so I was looking forward to this after reading many positive reviews but I cannot entirely agree with the critics consensus. It has some plus points (chiefly Johansson) but it's way too inaccessible, strange and at times very disturbing for me to recommend to others. It reminded me a little of The Man Who Fell To Earth in a number of ways which is no bad thing as I remember being very impressed by that film. Despite this I think it is worthwhile if you give it a chance but I'm not sure many will in all honesty. The basic premise of the story is set in Scotland, an alien life form takes the form of a woman (Johansson) and whilst in a transit van subsequently proceeds to drive around trying to entice men with the suggestion of sex. Instead of making the beast with two backs they are treated to a pool of gunk and some not very nice things happening to them. The cynic in me cant but help think that this kind of thing would happen to me if I was propositioned by such a beautiful woman. The alien also has one of her kind in tow who rides a motorbike around the highlands like a mentalist clearing up after the abductions. One thing leads to another and I cannot really say what happens except to say that the alien begins to question her actions and motives. These questions lead to an inner conflict within herself that has severe repercussions. On the downside some aspects of Under The Skin didn't make sense to me. One example was the motives of the aliens. Maybe that's the point and I agree to a certain extent as I don't necessarily think that all aspects of a story should be spelt out to the viewer. However, shedding a little light on this may have helped. It was too slow paced at times and I definitely got the impression that it was trying to be arty farty and possibly even pretentious. Many wont like the myriad of shots of the Scottish public going about their daily lives without (I am assuming) their knowledge of this. It's like watching CCTV footage of a day's shopping at Lakeside at times. I do accept that it's trying to show how our daily lives might seem to an alien and how strange it would seem to them. Onto the good. I'm very pleased that a mainstream Hollywood star such as Scarlett Johansson undertook what is essentially an independent film role. It's nothing like I've ever seen from her and she is magnificent. Not surprisingly she looks the part and her on screen presence manages to command your attention each and every time she is on the screen but manages to be distant and remote at the same time. Finally, I think the film succeeds in attempting to show both the very best in human nature and the very worst parts and all are relevant. The location is also nothing short of stunning and I loved the way its shot with multiple scenes of the Scottish Highlands. Interesting, yet odd and not always in a good way.
20 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes