Under My Skin, an original

My last night of vacation could not have been spent better than at Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer.  Positive vibes flowed even before the opening sequence began since I loved the feel of Sexy Beast way back in 2000.  For me to watch a violent film twice tells just how alluring the gorgeous setting of Agua Amerida, Spain was to me.

The setting of Under the Skin, on the other hand, is Scotland, and while I’d listen to the natives speak their lilting sing songy accents all day, I’ll pass on the what appears to be constant rain, wind and cold.  But obviously, that’s the world Glazer, (his screenwriter Walter Campbell-his first according to IMDB and the largest genuflection to the book’s author Michel Faber) wanted to portray.

Characters are unnamed and dialogue is slim with a Malick-ness eye aimed at capturing moments both in nature (as in the mesmerizing snow shot looking up from ground level) and human.  A disfigured man dealt life’s rawest deal so rejected by mankind that he does his grocery shopping in the middle of the night, is lovingly befriended, at least momentarily, by Scarlett’s alien character.  Deprived of tactile affirmation due to his abnormality made their touching of hands and his hand to her neck especially poignant.

Lessons Learned:

1.  The world (and Scotland) can be a cold, cruel place.  Much like Rod Serling intimated in “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”, the aliens may not be the only antagonists.  Ill will lives in many of ‘us’ (as in humans).   Less cynical than Serling, however, Glazer, (Campbell and Faber), believe there are also just as many humans with good hearts.

Hunch:  Scarlett Johansson may be good friends with Lena Dunham or at least share in the notion that a rubenesque physique is just as valuable as a muscular one.  Most men will agree with her pouty plump lips and hour glass figure that this film could have easily been titled “Sexy Beast Two”.

While much of the story was unexplained, the meditative effect of Scarlett’s journey, both literal (she walks A LOT in this film and proof she’s an alien is that she does all this trekking in high heeled boots) and figurative made this film satisfying and I left feeling I had been transformed to another world.  And that escape from the Earth is exactly the purpose of movie making.


5 thoughts on “Under My Skin, an original

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  2. Phil
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I hope you do see the film as it is special. I did not see “We Bought a Zoo” for two reasons: first, generally panned by critics as cornball and second, because at a just turned 50 year old with no romance in sight, and somewhat lonely, I try to avoid any reminders.
    The aliens in “Under My Skin” are human looking and blend into society, undetected.
    Let me know when and if you see th film, would love to hear your comments.

  3. Having not seen this movie, I wonder how the story and plot surfaces into the way you describe the Characters being Alien like! And the mere mention of Scarlett Johansson and her pouty plump lips and hour-glass figure is an Alien, well I wonder if you have ever seen ” We Bought A Zoo ” also staring Johansson and Matt Damon. In this movie Scarlett’s role is the Zoologist or the head Zoo Keeper, still with those pouty plump lips and somewhat the so called hour-glass figure but most incased with bulky clothing, not an Alien in this flick. But still a great Actress, and yes Scotland is rainy & cold place, but also has a intimate landscape with it’s rolling hills and deep rich greens that flow throughout the country side that makes Scotland seem like some far-away land. All though I have not seen this movie, the writer of this Blog, recommends seeing this film. Then I shall. And try to see what the Producer is trying to portray shooting from the ground up and the ugliness of one of the characters befriending this so called Alien.

    It’s just something I can’t sink my teeth, I’ll just have to watch ” Under My Skin “, and come to my own conclusion on this film. Thanks I do look forward to seeing this movie, and getting a better understanding of what’s ” Under My Skin ” is all about.

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