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Under the Skin (2013) 2014 Subtitles

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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.

Starring:
Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jonathan Glazer
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams
Supporting actors Lynsey Taylor Mackay, Dougie McConnell, Kevin McAlinden, D. Meade, Andrew Gorman, Joe Szula, Krystof Hádek, Roy Armstrong, Alison Chand, Ben Mills, Oscar Mills, Lee Fanning, Paul Brannigan, Marius Bincu, Scott Dymond, Stephen Horn, Adam Pearson, May Mewes
Studio STUDIOCANAL Ltd
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Under The Skin

Imagine that you condensed the plot of a novel down to a single sentence.

Now ignore half of that sentence and make a film of the result.

This seems to have part of the ten year creative process in turning Michel Faber’s novel into Jonathan Glazer’s film.

The resulting film is both haunting and beautiful, contrasting the grit and reality of Glasgow with the isolated emptiness of the Scottish countryside and a clinical hyper-stylised ‘alien’ lair.

The lair scenes and the opening sequence, especially, are reminiscent of Kubrick’s interpretation of Arthur C Clarke’s ‘2001’ whilst the overall feeling is similar to David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’, the awkward outsider who struggles to understand this human world.

Whilst much has been made of the use of real people as victims it’s Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of the seductress, Laura, hunting down lonely men for unspeakable reasons that will stay with the viewer, her understated beauty and unease perfect for the character of Laura but so different from the novel’s awkward, surgically deformed protagonist Isserley.

Book and film stand apart, and the good news is that experiencing neither would affect the enjoyment of the other so different are the storylines but I can’t help thinking that the film lacked a lot in explanation although it more than made up for this with style.

If anything the book is probably darker than the film condemning everything from big business to factory farming and exploring the idea of class through an alien culture. The film touches on none of these themes and the viewer could easily be left wondering what it was all about.
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By Fallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jan. 2016
Format: Amazon Video
Another divisive film it seems that I thought was excellent and near flawless in its execution. I also saw this upon its cinematic release as well as on dvd. I loved everything about it. The grey bleakness of Glasgow filmed surreptitiously, the gorgeous but overmade up and raggidly dressed Johansson, the music was brilliant during the enticement and 'devouring' set pieces and the performances were edge of the seat stuff.
Some difficult scenes to watch; the scene on the each will stay with you for quite a while. Also the evolvement of Johansson's character from a devoid of empathy parasite to her exploration of inate human characteristics and behaviours was well delivered.
The dvd extras were interesting. As well as the random non-actors who unwittingly appeared in the film the forestry worker at the end was also not an actor for those who have seen Under the Skin. He put in quite a chilling performance himself.
I really liked the surreal imagery of the film, the black tar like substance, the interaction between Johansson and her victims. Sure there's probably this bit and that which could be picked to pieces if you want to micro analyse it but for the open minded and appreciators of surreal film making this is very recommended.
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Format: Amazon Video
Based loosely on the excellent sci-fi/horror novel written by Michael Faber about an 'otherwordly' lady picking up male hitchhikers in a remote part of Scotland to sinister ends, the film version is much more of a mixed bag.

The novel explores issues of gender, class, race, how we view other species, how we view nature, sex, alienation, environmentalism, all while also being a cracking page turner.

The film on the other hand is denuded of virtually all plot and the viewer is left with.... eerie music, intermittent disorientating visual sequences and what is basically art-house sci-fi that delivers visually (it is shot beautifully) but delivers no punch emotionally (unlike the novel) with its card-board cut out characters who the viewer can feel no connection with.

Worst of all, its boring, I couldnt wait for it all to end. It is understandable that the film version of the novel would need to be different from the novel but unfortunately I dont think this works.
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Format: DVD
This film is a guessing game; the complete antithesis fo Holywood fayre, where the audience is spoon-fed a clear plot. Remeniscent of Anton Chekhov in the sense it implies but never specifies anything, and similar in approach to one of my favourite films - the honour of the knights - this film is a mirror; the interpretation is conpletely open to the viewer. Drawing heavily on the ambiguity of 2001: A Space Oddity, this is an intriguing marvel that forces thought in a brutal way. The child on the beach scene is upsetting to say the least but, unlike Holywood fayre it doesn't give explicit pointers, at any stage, as to how you, the viewer, should feel about it. A challenging movie that does reward perseverance and leaves much of the meaning to the observer. Haunting in a sense, it strips away the usual plot narrative to leave a bare imagery and little else. What confuses me most is how they got Scarlett Johansen on board.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is one of those films where I am struggling to give it a star rating. On one hand it could be a 2 star film, but easily it could be a 4 star film. It may even be a 5 star film. I’ve never experienced a film so haunting, so simple but so surreal and thoughtful in its narrative and cinematography that it becomes engrossing and uncomfortable to watch at the same time.

Scarlett Johansson simply carries the film (much like Tom Hardy did recently in another character driven film ‘Locke’), and you can’t take your eyes off her. She has little dialogue and conveys her emotion via her physical appearance. She is an actress capable of entertaining masses in action blockbusters or dreamy rom-coms but proving her also a grounded understanding of what it means to strip away the excess of Hollywood escapism and portray one of the most complex, realistic-cum-fantastical and haunting characters in her career to date. Her natural beauty is also something you can’t fail to admire, and that plays to her strength as a seductive being out for more sinister goals. She takes us on an emotional journey through a range of emotions and ultimately we can’t fail to finally warm to her, feel compassion for her and understand her.

Saying that, the supporting cast of largely unknown UK faces (bar possibly pro motorcyclist Jeremy McWilliams) add to the look and feel of this film greatly, giving it lots of authenticity. It plays out almost like a fly-on-the-wall documentary on the streets of Scotland, with improvised dialogue between the actors and Johansson for a very natural process of seduction. They are brave actors who take on full frontal nudity in nightmarish situations and they help make Johansson’s character all the more mysterious as the fish out of water in Scotland.
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