Last night I hit the Instant Video play button on British filmmaker Jonathan Glazer's ["Sexy Beast"] "Under the Skin" and spent the next 90 minutes staring wide-eyed at the screen and stammering Whaaaaat?
Whaaaaat we have here is a rare-color gem of a movie and a wildly original visual ride, although audience reaction will be mixed as to whether the stone is perfect as is or deserving to be industrially recycled for application in cardboard over-the-counter nail files.
I'd enthusiastically vote with the former because I enjoyed Under the Skin quite a lot, an awful eye-popping lot, although I'm not going to recommend that you RUSH OUT AND SEE IT RIGHT AWAY because chances are like it, you will not. Under the Skin was a box office failure in its theatrical release so it's not the kind of popcorn-crunching big budget movie stuffed full of special effects mainstream audiences expect. Neither is it a particularly difficult or PROFOUND, WOW!!! experience... but it is the kind of film people intuitively know they'd like to see without being cajoled, without having their hands held and without being subjected to deceptive marketing or distributor hype. You know who you are: if curiosity has already quickened your pulse, if you enjoy "foreign films" and prefer patience, off-beat characters in odd situations and unusual relationships to car chases, super blondes and eardrum blistering gun fights you're sure to be rewarded... and intrigued... by this exquisite little film. Scarlett Johansson is captivating, compelling and yes let's just admit the obvious, flawless in the film's leading role. Composer Mica Levi's otherworldly strings, percussion and distortion soundtrack merits special mention (although I wouldn't pay Amazon's current price of $155.78 for a CD when the mp3 download is available on the same page for $146.29 less), and Daniel Landin's Arriraw 2.8K digital cinematography wonderfully transforms Scotland's gritty urban environs and heather-and-snow-layered hillsides into a moody, pensive and essential mural every bit as emotionally reciprocal with the characters as the characters are uneasily interdependent upon each other.
If you do decide to see Under the Skin please don't spoil what's in store by googling the title to discover what the movie's about.
Review by paparidgeback from the Internet Movie Database.