Scarlett Johansson may have been all voice, no trousers - or body either - in Spike Jonze's high-concept 'Her', where she played the voice of Joaquin Phoenix's computer-inhabiting love, but she goes to the opposite extreme in Jonathan Glazer's spooky Scottish drama 'Under the Skin'.
She says very little, but manages to convey a lot in what was a brave and interesting choice for a successful Hollywood actress with her choice of projects - to go into the harsh light of Scotland, brave the elements and a sparse and elliptical story.
Jonathan Glazer directs Scarlett Johansson in 'Under the Skin'
Director and writer Glazer has form in persuading A-list Hollywood actresses to perform far beyond their established comfort zones. He previously directed Nicole Kidman in the controversial 'Birth', as a young grieving widow, who finds comfort and the illusion of romance with a strange young boy.
This time, his camera follows Scarlett around Glasgow as Laura, an unearthly creature who soon finds that a little brown fur coat, black wig and jeans do the job of turning her into an attractive human being. These are all the accoutrements she needs as she roams the streets of the city, asking for directions, offering lifts and generally planting her seductive charms on males of all shapes and sizes.
A little brown fur, a black wig and some lipstick do not a human being make...
She's not choosey, which is good news for young nightclub-visiting Glaswegian lads, who might not usually get a swing at the likes of Scarlett. The better news is, they do succeed in being seduced by her. The bad news, well, there are some things worse than a Glaswegian kiss.
Unfortunately, it's not all laughs for Laura either, as she trembles somewhere between dispassion and growing awareness that she might be missing out on something. And that's just the beginning of her troubles...
'Under the Skin' is in UK cinemas from 14 March. Watch the trailer below...
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