Under The Skin (2013)
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
Running time: 108 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Under the Skin is a 2013 British-American science fiction art film directed by Jonathan Glazer, and written by Glazer and Walter Campbell as a loose adaptation of Michel Faber’s 2000 novel of the same name. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress who preys on men in Scotland.
Finally! I finally managed to see this movie after looking everywhere for a cinema actually showing it when it came out and having no luck. I was intrigued because, first of all, it looked like “The Woman Who Fell To Earth“. Being a big David Bowie fan and loving The Man Who Fell To Earth way more than I should, I really wanted to see this. Plus, I found out that the director has made some of my favorite music videos (more about that later). So did Under The Skin live up to all the hype in my head? Yes and no.
I mentioned this movie when I reviewed Lucy HERE on Monday and, yes, I think Under The Skin is the superior film of the two although I did really enjoy Lucy. Scarlett Johansson is indeed the true star of both films and, I think, makes both movies far better than they would’ve been with a different actress (and this is coming from someone who has never really been a fan of hers). Under The Skin is a very brave role for her to have taken on and I think, along with Her, it’s paid off and made her a far more respected actress. Under The Skin could have been a massive failure for her and, although there will certainly be plenty of people who hate the film, I think it’s a huge success as far as her professional career is concerned. As for the movie…
Yes, it’s weird. Very very weird. It’s exactly what I expected, though, having seen The Man Who Fell To Earth (it does have plenty of similarities so it’s hard to not compare the two). I enjoyed it a lot although I don’t think it’s quite as iconic as the Bowie film (which is NOT a good movie but it’s hard to deny that Bowie is extremely fascinating and certain images from the movie will stay with you). In the same way, there are images from Under The Skin that will never leave my mind. I think that’s a good thing, though. I see that as a sign of a great piece of art. As a coherent and fully rewarding movie-watching experience, however, Under The Skin falls a little short. For as much of a mess as The Man Who Fell To Earth was, we at least had a backstory and knew what Bowie’s alien’s purpose was on Earth. If you’re the type of person who wants a movie with a proper storyline & a satisfying conclusion, Under The Skin may not be for you. If you want a nice piece of art to look at (like, weird & abstract art – not Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kinkade), you MIGHT enjoy Under The Skin.
Well, I don’t think I really need to say much more than I already have. Basically, Under The Skin is weird and you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. I found it to be an interesting piece of art and, as the director has made music videos before, perhaps that’s why this feels a little like something in between a music video & a movie. If you want a straightforward movie or even something that has some deep meaning, you won’t get that here (but I may just be too stupid to figure out some “deeper meaning” to this film). You will, however, get a good performance from Johansson and some images that you’ll never get out of your mind. I really enjoyed the film.
My Rating: 7.5/10
Here’s a list (thanks Wikipedia) of a few of the music videos made by the director of Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer). I’ve included two of my favorites (FYI – the UNKLE one isn’t one to watch if there are kids around):
Karmacoma by Massive Attack
The Universal by Blur
Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai
Karma Police by Radiohead
Plus my two favorites:
Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead:
Rabbit in Your Headlights by UNKLE ft. Thom Yorke:
**I’ve recently participated in the Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon being hosted by the robust Rob of MovieRob and the zany Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. You can read my contribution, a review of Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie, starring Sean Connery & Tippi Hedren, HERE. Thanks, Rob & Zoe, for hosting this blogathon! 🙂
Cool that you got to see it, I also had a bit of a struggle finding somewhere local when it came out earlier this year, but luckily managed to in the end. I really liked it, it’s probably my second favourite film this year after Boyhood. Also love Glazer’s music videos – the UNKLE one is one of the best I’ve seen.
Boyhood was great as well. I think I enjoyed Under The Skin more although I gave Boyhood a higher rating. It’s been a pretty good year for movies. : ) Yeah – I love UNKLE and thought that video was amazing when I saw it. Don’t know of many people who saw it. : )
And his advert for Guinness too. Great review 🙂
Thanks! : ) Yes! He did loads of adverts too – saw the list at Wikipedia as well. Was it the surfing advert? That was very cool. : )
You had me at “ScarJo’s milkers are magnificient!”
I use that tag on every post to make sure you visit me ; )
Probably the most haunting film I’ve seen this year. Fine. review.
Thanks! : ) It’s certainly one that sticks with you. My favorite bits were what happened to her “victims” and what she looked like at the end. Will certainly remember those images!
Nice! Why does everything look italic today??????????
I have no idea! I’ve not changed a thing!!!!!! ????? !!!!! : (
I hate blogging : (
I still don’t know what half of this movie is about, however, that didn’t bother me. I was just along for a ride that took me anywhere, at any time, and for no reason other than to just mess with me. And I was so thankful for that. Good review.
Thanks! Glad to see you enjoyed this one too. Looks like a lot of people did. : )
I’m sad I missed this in the theatre. I still really want to see it.
I think you’d enjoy this one, Abbi! It’s quite an experience. I still wish I’d seen it in the theatre as well. I wish more cinemas would give movies like this a go!
Pingback: Under The Skin (2013) Review | Tinseltown Times
not sure if i would like this or not, so i have avoided it so far.
what do u think Mutant? is it for me or not?
Lol. Umm… Honestly, I don’t think you’d like it. ; ) But you should try it anyway! I think you’d be a bit “WTF?!”. ; )
sounds like a HUGE WTF to me, maybe someone will “force” me to watch it 🙂
“Under the Skin” brilliantly demonstrates the qualities that make human beings so wonderful and what also makes them monsters. A cinematic masterpiece in the “show don’t tell” vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Thanks! You said that better than I did. Lol. : ) I’m thinking about reading the book now – really did enjoy the film. : )
I can’t wait to see this one. great review as always
Hey! It’s you again! 🙂 I’m so behind on replying to comments. Thanks! I think you’d like this one a lot. Let me know if you see it! 🙂
Pingback: Daft Punk’s Electroma (2006) Movie Review | Cinema Parrot Disco
Pingback: Music Video Friday: Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy & Windowlicker (A Chris Cunningham Special) | Cinema Parrot Disco
Pingback: THX 1138 (1971) Blind Spot Review | Cinema Parrot Disco
Pingback: Mandy (2018) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco
Pingback: My Top Ten Movies Of The Decade (2010-2019) | Cinema Parrot Disco
Pingback: Fantastic Planet (La Planète sauvage, Divoká planeta) (1973) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco
Pingback: My Top Ten 21st Century Horror Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco