Under the Skin is visually stunning and breathtakingly subtle, a gorgeous feature from Jonathan Glazer that challenges and excites with every frame. To discuss the film’s details is to spoil the experience, so I will be as brief as possible: it centers on Laura (Scarlett Johansson), an alien seductress that lures lonely men into a place where…something feeds. The film’s deceptively simple and seemingly impenetrable at times. The script navigates a path that potentially hints at social conflicts but comes to an innate message: that a seemingly emotionless individual can show shreds of humanity that might deem them worthy of living. Johansson’s performance at the center is nuanced and controlled, providing the best performance of her career. We buy her path because she portrays the mental battle she faces so brilliantly. The visuals are truly unlike anything I have ever seen, and the script doles out information that is meant to grab us when we are most confused and then allow us to see just how the film functions. Under the Skin is the epitome of arthouse fare, but it’s wonderfully realized and wholly engaging.
Grade: ★★★★ (out of 5)