Under The Skin


One of the best British films of the late '90s, Carine Adler's debut bears interesting echoes of Roman Polanski's Repulsion. Samantha Morton excels as Iris, a confused young woman rendered numb with grief after the death of her mother. Furiously jealous of her older sister (Claire Rushbrook), she dons her late mum's post-chemotherapy wig and fur coat and embarks on a series of sexual encounters with male strangers. When she's brutally humiliated by one of her pick-ups, her stability grows increasingly precarious...

Grief is not an emotion that's politely talked about by the film's characters, but experienced on a painful, visceral level. And Iris's identity crisis is reflected in the look of Under The Skin, notable for Barry Ackroyd's restless, hand-held cinematography and the vivid colours that dominate the sparse interiors.

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