Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Can Sexy Scarlett Turn 'Under the Skin' Into an Arthouse Hit? (TRAILER)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 26, 2014 at 5:56PM

Could Sexy Scarlett Johansson turn bizarre sci-fi flick "Under the Skin," Jonathan Glazer's return to filmmaking after a decade, into an arthouse hit?
0
Under the Skin
'Under the Skin'
'Under the Skin'

Why was the first-ever movie premiere at the restored United Artists Theatre at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles packed with hipsters Tuesday night? While the likes of Miranda July and Mike Mills, Miguel Artega, Chloe Sevigny, Vincent Gallo, Rian Johnson and Karina Longworth, The Ravenettes' Sharin Foo, Matt Dentler, Catherine Hardwicke, David Lowery and Kevin Smith were checking out the gloriously ornate 1600-seat 1927 movie palace, which was hosting its first premiere in 25 years, they were also eager to see Jonathan Glazer's visually stunning "Under the Skin," starring Scarlett Johansson, which A24 scooped up out of Venice, Telluride and Toronto, where it earned claps and boos. (Reviews are more upbeat.) The long-in-the works atmospheric sci-fi thriller backed by a hodge-podge of financiers (including Film Four, BFI, Scottish Screen, Silver Reel and foreign sales company FIlmNation) opens stateside in select cities on April 4th. (Trailer below.) 

United Artists Theatre
United Artists Theatre

Could it work here too? Well, having Johansson as a nameless alluring alien trawling for human specimens in the foggy crags of Scotland doesn't hurt. Nor does the fact that you've never seen a movie quite like this before. From the disorienting opening frames, music video director Glazer's first feature film in a decade is clearly more akin to the provocative "Birth" than his 2000 paeon to kinetic violence, "Sexy Beast." Based on a 2001 novel by Michael Faber, "Under the Skin" leaves the audience guessing as to why this strange woman is luring men to a house with an inky black interior and deep pool to trap her prey. 

In one of many arresting shots, a victim, as if suspended in amber, gazes up at her feet crossing overhead. (Glazer was partly inspired by images of oil-covered birds.) Glazer shot the film with unrehearsed non-pros who responded live to Johansson's queries as Glazer captured them with hidden cameras. In another sequence, our lonely alien, who neither eats nor sleeps, gazes implacably at a violent tableau as the ocean surf breaking on a rocky shore swallows up a man trying to save his wife as their baby howls on the beach. Our virtually silent girl slams the heroic swimmer who tried to rescue them on the head with a rock and drags him, past the screaming baby, to her van. The role has one similarity to Johansson's OS in "Her": can she absorb what it is to be human?

At the "Under the Skin" afterparty at Umami Burger, Glazer admitted that it meant a lot to him to not only be able to shoot the film he wanted--unique but not commercial--but for it to be embraced in Britain. He thanked Film Four's Tessa Ross (who just announced her departure to become head of the National Theater). He hasn't been able to focus on what he'll do next. 

Classic screening promoter Cinespia mounted the event in order to preview a planned new film series in the restored venue, which will also house dance, shows and concerts. Ace Hotel founder Alex Calderwood backed the restoration before he died in London last November. 


This article is related to: Under the Skin, Reviews, Reviews, Sci-fi, Scarlett Johansson


E-Mail Updates