The reviews have been...weird since the film debuted at the Venice Film Festival.
We haven’t seen a disparity in critical response like this since Ryan Gosling’s Only God Forgives – a film that was getting five-star and one-star reviews in the same day. It seems as though Scarlett Johansson’s creepy sci-fi drama Under The Skin has lived up to its name for some critics, but which ones liked the sensation?
Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin.
The film sees Johansson in a truly femme fatal role. Sent to Earth by a super-rich alien corporation to collect humans for consumption. Our species is somewhat of a delicacy to them, you see. Filmed entirely in Scotland, this is Jonathan Glazer’s follow up to Birth. Before that came the iconic Sexy Beast.
But for The Independent, the comeback isn’t welcome; not at all. Calling it a “laughably bad alien hitchhiker movie,” the British paper gave it no stars. Not one. They say: “The word was that Glazer was working on the edit at a glacial pace that would make Terrence Malick proud. Now that it has finally debuted, it appears that in the end Glazer simply gave up on trying to find a cohesive story.”
Another British paper, on the other hand, was impressed. “Johansson is nothing short of iconic here,” say The Telegraph in their five-star review. “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.”
Overall, it seems as though Johansson’s powerful performance has propelled Under The Skin to new heights. In fact, a peek at Rotten Tomatoes – at the time of writing – will bring up a 100% score, which is, needless to say, amazing. But when reviews like The Independent’s get added to the aggregate, you can be sure you’ll see that drop.
Johansson gets under our skin in the trailer