Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Under the Skin

(UK, 2013)

Every once in a while there is a movie that is a critical darling and I just can’t stand it. This is one. Scarlett Johannson is some sort of alien. She cruises the night streets of London, picking up men and taking them to an apartment that is a lot larger inside than it is outside. There they are assimilated (I guess) into a black sea … oh, it’s all too ridiculous, and totally unexplained. The one thing good I can say about this is that the photography is very impressive, evocative, imaginative. And it’s all wasted on a story that means nothing at all.

I guess I should mention that some of it was filmed with hidden cameras in the car she drives. She ad libs her approaches to the men she picks up, who don’t know they are being filmed. They are later asked if they want to be in the film. Doing a nude scene with Scarlett … well, what man would want to do something as disgusting as that?

Oh, one more thing. At one point she seduces a man, real name Adam Pearson, whose face is horribly disfigured from Elephant Man’s disease. You can easily find pictures of him on the Internet. He took the part in an effort to humanize people like him, and I applaud the effort.