Looking at 2014 as a whole it is evident it was a pretty good year.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Joe Szula, Kryštof Hádek, Paul Brannigan, Adam Pearson, Michael Moreland, Dave Acton, Jessica Mance
Running Time: 108 minutes
An alien disguised as a buxom, red lipstick wearing femme-fatale drives around Glasgow in a white van, picking up unsuspecting men and luring them back to her lair, where they meet a sticky end. Another alien on a motorcycle tears around cleaning up after her and hiding all the evidence. I know how it looks. But whilst the premise for Under The Skin might sound like a collaboration between Russ Meyer and Roger Corman, it’s actually anything but. Instead Jonathan Glazer has created a film that’s harrowing, freaky and visually stunning – with some bleak messages about humanity.
Scarlett Johansson plays the alien with a kind of slack-jawed emptiness. With her blank expression she’s like an automaton that only starts up in
A voluptuous woman of
Overseen by a male attendant (played by former Irish motorcycle racer Jeremy McWilliams), Johansson’s character is completely oblivious to the dangers and horrors of the world, a singularly focused siren, pursuing one male victim after the next, leading each to a horrifying end inside her slaughterhouse. Until an unusual encounter causes the uncaring predator ...
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Johansson portrays an alien who looks like Scarlett Johansson, and thus can lure the men of this world – or at least the part of the world that is Scotland – into a void that they follow “her” into. And because the seduction is highly metaphoric, it reflects back to connections between men and women, the islands of human isolation, and the ramifications of our outer and inner selves. There is something so viable about the morality of the film, down to the last desperate and unfair punishment that the Johansson character must endure. This work of art is highly meditative, and eventually highly personal.
From visionary director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth) comes a stunning career transformation, a masterpiece of existential science fiction that journeys to the heart of what it means to be human, extraterrestrial - or something in between.
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