Mysterious Skin [DVD] 
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Off-beat indie drama. Brian Lackey (Brady Corbet) went missing for five hours when he was eight-years-old, an event that he remains convinced was the result of alien abduction. In the same small Kansas town, teenage hustler Neil McCormick (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is a confused outsider with a promiscuous mother (Elisabeth Shue) and who was abused as a child by his Little League coach (Bill Sage). Locked into their own obsessions, both young men pursue a self-destructive path that will lead them towards each other, and will result in each of them trying to exorcise the demons of their past. Also starring Michelle Trachtenberg.
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Top Customer Reviews
A fan of the movie, and will be off the book once I get around to buying it. The warnings are all there, if you still pick it up and don't like it, don't blame it on the theme.
This film is not for the faint hearted. Possibly the hardest scene to watch is where Joseph Gordon-Levitt, playing a rent boy, is raped - and yet I felt that this scene truly brought to the fore, the incredible turmoil going on inside this youth - the source of his self-destructive behaviour.
Despite the controversial and emotive material that forms the backdrop for this film, the journey of healing that ultimately emerges in the closing scenes is heartwarming and hopeful.
I would highly recommend this film.
An uncomfortable film to watch, but resonant for me as someone who grew up gay in 1980s Kansas. Details like the Little League games, the Halloween spook house and the shady characters cruising the park were all spot on, although I doubt the film will be championed by the Kansas Travel & Tourism Division.
I've not read Scott Heim's book on which this film is based, but on reading his background you realise each of the youths in the film is a manifestation of himself. He claims to have seen a UFO with his family, excelled in school and lived with his single mom after a divorce (like Brian), he announced baseball games (like Neil) and his infatuation with cosmetics and British goth pop made him the subject of death threats (like Eric).
Altogether that means there's a lot of truth to what's being depicted, no matter how dangerous or taboo some may consider the subject matter. I think Araki should be praised for making a mockery of the American movie ratings by filming such an explicit movie that doesn't show a thing. I've seen European art-house films with twice as much flesh which were half as frank. I think what disturbs people most is there is no moralising, no revenge and no happy ending where learning the truth frees the tortured characters from their shattered lives.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the stand-out from the cast, with Michelle Trachtenberg failing to bring any weight to the film's more poignant scenes because her dialogue was too 'writerly' (saying things that people may think but rarely voice).
I was disappointed that the film was not filmed in Kansas, but they did an excellent job finding places in California which were strikingly similar.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The disc I got was in really crap condition and went straight into the bin.
So Im still looking for a descent copy of this movie.