Based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Scott Heim, this haunting story of childhood sexual abuse follows two very different young men — one a smooth-talking hustler, the other a shy student obsessed with UFOs — as they cross paths years after a fateful night with their little league coach.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Mysterious Skin was, far and away, the best Araki film that I've seen. I haven't seen most of his oeuvre, granted, but this one was phenomenal. Intricately and delicately constructed, the film explores the ripple effect of abuse, with a transformative performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Buy the Blu-Ray!
Gregg Araki communicates this nuanced tale of trauma and abuse with raw emotion and depth in a thoughtful experience without being manipulative. And the ending was so powerful and rewarding. Respect to Joseph Gordon-Levitt who did brilliantly in this very demanding role. And what an amazing soundtrack; Slowdive, Ride, Cocteau Twins, Sigur Ros. Wow, they adds up to the atmosphere.
While I feel there are several notable flaws in this film, the brilliance of the performances (especially JGL) and the perfection that is the last 30 minutes of this movie outweigh any cons. My rating would have been 4/5 stars but that ending seriously affected me so deeply that I think the film deserves 5. One of the most emotionally powerful sequences I've ever seen in a movie. I would highly recommend this film.
I pretty much despise every other Gregg Araki movie I've seen, so I was taken aback by how perfect I think MYSTERIOUS SKIN is. He certainly has matured as a filmmaker since he was making garbage like THE DOOM GENERATION, as MYSTERIOUS SKIN handles its dubious subject matter with maturity and insight. If you are put off by Araki's other films like I was, don't let it keep you from seeing this film.
One of the perfect examples of a film overcoming its shortcomings (ie, the direction of the child actors, the occasionally uneven performances from the two leads (who ultimately are quite fantastic), the underdevelopment of the female characters) to reveal an absolutely beautiful motion picture that's emotionally mature and complex.
Credit for its haunting and dreamlike soundtrack, as well as the cinematography. But despite some good performances, the film often opts for needlessly graphic depictions or descriptions of sex, when merely an implication would suffice. I'm not a prude, but there's a point where it's not avant garde, it's degenerate. In the end, it may not be entirely successful, but it is truly a unique film.
still cannot decide how I felt about this. I was repulsed, in every sense of the word and yet riveted by joseph gordon-levitt's performance. and the ending was powerful. and yet, still disgusted by the graphic nature of the film...certainly no impeccable masterpiece but was drawn to it and emotionally invested in the characters...