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Under the Skin

This is a very unusual movie about an alien, played by Scarlett Johansson; we know she is alien from the opening scenes (during which she appears to be practicing English). She finds men that are alone and lures them to a very strange building. What happens to them, and to her over the course of the movie, is the substance of the story; I won’t say more about it, because it will both give it away and further confuse a movie that is at times very perplexing. The movie reminded me of another art-house film, Holy Motors, from a couple of years ago; very strange yet brilliant and highly original in the telling of its story. Scarlett Johansson gives a technically superior performance (another great demonstration of acting with little dialog); how she one moment is very friendly and in the next distant and emotionally blank is amazing to watch. I would recommend the movie just based on her performance alone. While I thought it was a bit long, thumbs up from me for a movie that I am still scratching my head over long after it has ended. The movie won’t be for all; it is one that will probably have as many different interpretations and evoke as many different reactions as there are viewers. (2014; 3.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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