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  • Production
  • 15
  • Sci-Fi
  • 2014
  • 107 mins

Under The Skin

Film4 Under The Skin

Synopsis

Jonathan Glazer's third film following Sexy Beast and Birth, Under The Skin is the story of an alien in human form. Part road movie, part science fiction, part real, it's a film about seeing our world through alien eyes.

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Keeping It Alien: Jonathan Glazer on Under The Skin

About

Scarlett Johansson stars as a mysterious woman driving in a white van through the streets of Scotland, seducing the lonely men that she meets. It's not long before her experiences begin to profoundly affect her. Critically acclaimed at the Venice, Toronto and London film festivals, with special praise going to Mica Levi’s score, Under The Skin was shot in London and extensively on location in Scotland. Glazer and Walter Campbell wrote the screenplay, based on Michel Faber's acclaimed novel of the same name. Producers are James Wilson (JW Films) and Nick Wechsler (Nick Wechsler Productions). Under The Skin is a Film4 and BFI presentation, in association with Silver Reel, Creative Scotland and FilmNation Entertainment.

Press reactions

The Telegraph

"Johansson is nothing short of iconic here; her character is a classic femme fatale in the film noir tradition, down to the plump red lips and deep fur coat, but with a refrigerated nothingness at her core. She looks at her fellow cast members as if they are from another planet – which is, of course, exactly as it should be. Even the Scottish landscape looks alien: dawn mist rolls across lochs like curls of space dust. Glazer’s astonishing film takes you to a place where the everyday becomes suddenly strange, and fear and seduction become one and the same. You stare at the screen, at once entranced and terrified, and step forward into the slick" - Robbie Collin

Variety

"This unsettling and eerily erotic study of a come-hither extraterrestrial (Scarlett Johansson) was far and away the best film I saw in competition at Venice — at once lucid, seductive and mesmerizingly strange. No film since perhaps “Lost in Translation” has made more perfect use of that sly, elusive sexiness that Johansson has, melding her character’s perspective with ours to the point that we wind up regarding our fellow man through a glass darkly, rendering humanity at once familiar and alien" - Justin Chang

The Guardian

"Under the Skin is far and away the best picture in the competition so far: a story that plays as a kind of malarial dream, bathed in cold sweat and seeing hallucinations in every corner. Johansson proves bizarrely engrossing as the unnamed succubus, fetchingly augmented with jet-black hair and blood-red lipstick, who drives a van around Scotland in search of her prey" - Xan Brooks

Time Out

"It’s an intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime: it combines sci-fi ideas, gloriously unusual special effects and a sharp atmosphere of horror with the everyday mundanity of a woman driving about rainy Scotland in a battered transit van" - Dave Calhoun

Little White Lies

"Jonathan Glazer's quixotic, constantly baffling and often remarkable Under the Skin resists explanation and easy reading at every oblique turn, a strange social realist science fiction yarn which somehow generates a sense of forward momentum and Lynchian unease from merely observing the unusual actions of its heroine" - David Jenkins

Empire

"Johansson is quietly brilliant. As the girl who fell to Earth, she is confused, repulsed and fascinated by what she finds — eyes searching for clues, as her face seeks the right expression, trying to become comfortable in her skin. It’s hard to imagine anyone being as appropriate for the part — and as brave — as her, blending innocence and inquisitiveness with a sexuality that’s both irresistible and monstrous" - Nev Pierce

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan
  • Director: Jonathan Glazer
  • Producer: Nick Wechsler, James Wilson
  • Executive Producer: Tessa Ross, Claudia Bluemhuber

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Under the Skin Trailer

The bottom line

Under The Skin is a Film4 and BFI presentation, in association with Silver Reel, Creative Scotland and FilmNation Entertainment. It was released in the UK on March 14th 2014 by Studiocanal and is available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray now.

Film4 Under The Skin

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