One Minute Review: Mysterious Skin (2005)

Release Date
May 6, 2005
Director
Gregg Araki
Screenplay
Gregg Araki
Based On The Novel By
Scott Heim
Distributed By
Tartan Films
Drama, Mystery
Unrated
105 minutes

Mysterious Skin

The equivalent of an exposed nerve ending, “Mysterious Skin” is a sensitive and emotionally charged beyond comprehension. Told from the perspective of two very different young men, the story centers around Neil, played masterfully by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as he partakes in multiple sexual encounters with strange men for money. Having been molested by his Little League coach growing up, we are privy to how this effects his mentality and how it’s shaped him into promiscuity. Dealing with a separate sort of encounter, the other half of the film is from the perspective of a young nerdy boy named Brian (Brady Corbet), who believes he was abducted by aliens when he was a child, having several hours of his life unaccounted for.

Completely differing in nature, these stories are both wholly engrossing and eventually intertwine with raw emotion. Joseph Gordon-Levitt pulls off the brooding young man, delivering a much darker embodiment than any of his previous endeavors. Helped by a talented supporting cast in Elisabeth Shue, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Jeff Licon. Apart from some extremely homoerotic material causing for the NC-17 rating, this film is undeniably well written and directed, leaving a lasting impression and carrying some heavy subject matter in a decently paced drama that never quite lets go.

 

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