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Film Pick: 'Under The Skin'

(photo: www.imdb.com) 

    Upon its release in April of 2014, director Jonathan Glazer's masterpiece Under The Skin has been praised by film critics and fans of arthouse cinema, yet it still remains fairly under-watched. 

    Under The Skin stars Scarlett Johansson, who plays an alien disguised as a beautiful woman. She wanders Scotland, searching for loner-type men. She lures them to her surreal lair with an air of seduction, only to trap them and consume them. Scarlett Johansson masterfully captures the alien's indifference to humanity, with calculating facial expressions and an eerie friendliness. The film takes a turn though when Johansson's character begins to feel for humanity, and even identify with it.  

    More than just an artsy sci-fi flick, Under The Skin is a philosophical statement on the nature of being human, the good and the bad. Interestingly, Glazer filmed some of the scenes with just regular passers-by on the streets of Scotland, with Johansson in disguise. This decision gives some of the interactions Johansson's character has on the street an authenticity that can be difficult to attain.  

    This film is, quite simply, beautiful. It is masterfully executed and Johansson gives an incredible performance and the photography is striking and the film is, overall, well-crafted. Glazer uses an alien to tell a very human story with an honest portrayal of evil, but also with a sense of tenderness.

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