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DVD review: Johansson propels eerie beauty of 'Under the Skin'

Published July 14, 2014 9:08 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Grade • A-

DVD •Director Jonathan Glazer's eerie thriller "Under the Skin" is a movie that doesn't give up its secrets easily, and it's the patient viewer who's rewarded by its icy beauty.

Scarlett Johansson stars as a woman, seemingly not of this Earth, who drives around Scotland seeking unattached young men to seduce. When she finds one, she takes him home, an all-black expanse with a reflective floor into which the poor guy sinks like quicksand.

Glazer ("Sexy Beast") employs long silences, Kubrick-level visuals and a semi-improvised series of encounters Johansson's character has with random Scotsmen (many of whom didn't know they were in a movie). The film's most impressive special effect, though, is Johansson, who uses her looks and her acting ability to depict an alien slowly learning what it means to be human. —

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