Review: Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer’s, ‘Under The Skin’

under-the-skin-scarlett-johansson

There are times when I’ve watched a movie, the house lights come up and I think to myself, “What the hell did I just see?”

Under the Skin was one of those movies.

Directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast), the film is based on the novel by Michael Faber and I sincerely hope that the novel has more of a plot than the film, which has an alien (Scarlett Johansson) taking over a dead woman’s body. She then drives around the streets of Scotland searching for men – only men – who have no family or loved ones, inviting them to a far-away house with the promise of some hanky-panky. The men strip and follow Johansson’s alien into a bleak, almost gel-like underworld where they die.

It’s all about humanity; finding it, losing it and what happens in-between. The problem is that there’s not much that happens in the in-between parts and that’s a huge problem.

For the first hour, Johansson’s alien is seen trolling the streets of Glasgow looking for her prey. It happens over and over with slight variations for each sequence. But that’s it. After the first three times, we kind of get it, you know? There’s nothing else that happens beyond Johansson being pretty to look at – thank God – or this would have been a slog to watch.

Once that happens, we finally get to some meat of the story but it’s too little too late.

There’s zero explanation of who the alien is, why she’s on Earth, why she choose Scotland and what her purpose is. There’s also a guy driving around on a motorcycle who seems to be her sidekick or boss or… who knows what he is. Because there’s no explanation of anything!

I need some whys! I need explanations! And here, we get none.

I do like and admire Johansson for her risk taking and decision to do something unconventional. Doing a part like this, where she hardly speaks, takes huge guts and it’s only making her a better actress… and I think she’s already terrific.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Olivia-Wilde-Drinking-Buddies.jpg
Olivia Wilde on Producing ‘Meadowland’ and What She Learned about Casting
"If you can't get an actor to accept that small role, they're not right for that role. Don't change your story to try to beg actors to be a part of it" - Olivia Wilde
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Chiewetel-Ejiofor-12-Years-a-Slave.jpg
Chiwetel Ejiofor Discusses His Acting Journey and Being a “Kid With This Funny Name”
"I was a kid with this funny name. And people were like, ‘It’s going to be quite difficult for you to make any money as an actor" - Chiwetel Ejiofor
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Tatiana-Maslany-orphan-black.jpg
Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany Talks About Bringing Her Clones To Life: “I think they’re like any character for me”
"It's such a playful place, and as an actor I approach everything that way" - Tatiana Maslany on Improv
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/lena-headley-game-of-thrones.jpg
Lena Headey Talks ‘Game of Thrones’ And Bringing Humanity to Cersei
"Everything I do with my job, I do because I am intrigued by a character" - Lena Headey
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ryan-gosling-lost-river.jpg
Ryan Gosling on Using Dreams in Acting and How He Regards Bad Reviews
"That's a style of acting that's pretty popular right now, where actors use their dreams to connect whatever material they're working on." - Ryan Gosling