starring Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Krystof Hádek, Jessica Mance
screenplay by Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer, based on the novel by Michel Faber
directed by Jonathan Glazer
by Walter Chaw Trouble Every Day and The Man Who Fell to Earth as directed by Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer's astonishing Under the Skin marks his return to feature filmmaking after a nine-year hiatus. The loosest of adaptations, cherry-picking from Michel Faber's strong novel of the same name, Under the Skin is home to a trio (at least) of indelible images and a style and presentation that function as shunts into a thicket of thorny existential questions; it's the best film I've seen this year and among the best films I've ever seen. Stripped to the bone, as capable of viciousness as it is tenderness, it achieves what seems impossible by creating a sense of the mysterium tremens in the body of a human-looking alien. When it works, it's a stunner worthy of mention in the same breath as Blade Runner, but more significant than its immediate impact is its lingering afterimage. I liked it initially. In the six days since I saw it, scarcely an hour's gone by that I haven't thought about it. Under the Skin, not to be flip, burrows exactly there, and nests.