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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Flawed Perfection

Film critics should no longer be talking about unfilmable books, but if any still are, they will consign that tired old epithet to the dustbin after seeing Jonathan Glazer's film Under the Skin. His visualisation of Michel Faber's book of the same name is startlingly bold, both visually and in its vision, it is dazzlingly inventive, challenging and visceral, in other words, everything you would want from a good book. Scarlett Johansson's performance is extraordinary, accomplished and brave, and must have increased her stock no end as an actor capable of so much more than she has been given credit for, certainly by cinemagoers. It is a tribute to Glazer that the BBFC passed Under the Skin as a '15' uncut. There are numerous difficult scenes, several involving nudity, sex and sexual assault - not to mention even more harrowing moments - but never is there even a hint of sensationalism, everything serves the context and the central narrative. Under the Skin is an enthralling piece of cinema, surely the best yet of Glazer's short feature filmography. Not an easy watch, but rewarding and inspirational (if not uplifting) for those willing to push the envelope of their cinema experience. Outstanding.

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