Mysterious Skin (2004) is a English movie. Gregg Araki has directed this movie. Brady Corbet,Joseph Gordon-Levitt,Elisabeth Shue,Chase Ellison are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2004. Mysterious Skin (2004) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.
Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share.
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"Mysterious Skin" is a movie that I heard very little about. Never saw the trailer, never saw a poster nothing. Until one day I was just looking up movies online and I came across this film. I looked up the website, watched the trailer, and said I want to see this. So I didn't get around to it when I lived in California since it came and went very quickly however the film did show up in a little theater about 5 miles from my house so I figured I have to check this film out and so I did. "Mysterious Skin" is the story of two boys Brian (Brady Corbet) and Neil (Joseph Gordon Levitt). Brian can't remember what happened to him when he was younger but he knows something bad happened. Neil on the other hand remembers every second of what happened and has let that take control of his life. The story continues to show Brian as a nerdy kid trying to find out what happened to him and Neil turns into a hustler. But in the end the horrifying truth comes out and their lives are changed forever. When this film ended, I just stood there and said wow that was really messed up and I felt depressed. The story is so raw and graphic. I don't think I saw anything this graphic since I first saw "Irreversible" a few years back. The movie feels so real and the events that occur to these two kids seem so common in today's society. I think it really hits home and that's why this film works so well. The lead performances by Brady Corbet and Joseph Gordon Levitt are terrific. Both are extremely believable and well acted. It's nice how they each played a character so different from one another. After watching Levitt in this film, "Manic" and "Latter Days," I am pretty convinced that the guy is one hell of an actor although he needs to stick to the independent films. And the same thing goes for Brady Corbet who starred in my favorite film two years back called "Thirteen." Also I feel it's necessary to comment on Michelle Trachtenberg here who played Neil's partner in crime Wendy. I really don't like Mrs. Trachtenberg probably because I saw her in the god-awful "Euro Trip" and in "Buffy" however in this movie she was pretty good. I think she played the supporting role well. Gregg Araki was both the writer and director on the film. I must say the man knows how to make a graphic and disturbing film. The movie at times is hard to watch because of how disturbing some of the scenes are. I haven't seen any of Mr. Araki's other films but I have been reading online and have heard that this is his masterpiece. I can't really say that I liked the film because this isn't a movie you come out of and say oh yea that was wonderful! You kind of come out of the theater saying man that was really f*cked up, kind of like the movie "Thirteen" although this movie is much more graphic. It's a great work of art as far as film goes and tells a deep and disturbing story well. The thing like I mentioned above that makes the film work is that this type of stuff happens in the world today which again is why "Thirteen" worked. It's shocking and disturbing but it's only that way because it feels and seems real. In the end, I think it's a really good movie with powerful performances and a great story. The movie is not for the weak hearted. I myself felt a bit disturbed by the film. The subject matter isn't very happy and neither is the story. The film is extremely graphic and raw. Some of the more disturbing scenes seem to run on for a long time which means that the film is working on its audience. I can't really pick a target audience for this film but if you like movies that are real and raw then you should check this out. This is a great movie that I think many would not be able to handle but for the few who can I think it really delivers. MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Mysterious Skin" is a 9/10.
I have a feeling that most of the reviewers here have not read the text of "Mysterious Skin" by Scott Heim. Doing so would be most helpful in viewing this film. Out of sheer luck, I happened to find a screening in Las Vegas, almost a year after the initial release, having finished the book only one day before. It was an interesting experience from the start. One got the feeling of stepping into an adult cinema, instead of a semi-mainstream release. I was surrounded by sprinkling of older guys watching an NC-17 matinée. A first for me, for sure. The movie captures the feel of the book spot on. Director Araki should be commended for staying so close to the text. Hardly anything was left out and what was deleted did not detract from the storyline in the least. Heim's novel deals with subject matter that most people would prefer to deny exists. But back here in the real world, it does. On screen we see the sensualization of an 8 year old boy, along with his sexual fantasy. Not for the squeamish, but Araki communicates this brilliantly without diluting the message. Most people would shy away from a story that has an 8 year old boy having an orgasm as he watched his mother have intercourse, but Araki does not. And somehow he makes it okay. Hats off to the boys cast as the young Neil and Brian. Chase Ellison captures the emotions of his character very well. He captures the darkness of Neil McCormick incredibly, and translates perfectly from the written page. We sense the confusion turning into acceptance and then, desire. It made me squirm in my seat. George Webster as young Brian is great. I can't imagine a lot of actors lining up to play the boylover coach, but Bill Sage does very well. In the story, his role doesn't seem like a pure predator, but clearly he has devices at work. He's in the right place at the right time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a marvel is this film. There was a genuine quality to his character, an aloofness that comes with knowledge at an early age that is hard to put into words. Brady Corbett successfully brought his youthful character along, and I think his interactions with the other characters is spot on for someone who had had an experience like his. Critics will say that this film glorifies pedophilia. I disagree. I think it shows the effects of pedophilic relationship on different people, and how they react to it. It is a slice of life, albeit a very dark one, that does occur each and every day. Approach with caution and an open mind.
As a movie lover and social worker, I was really moved throughout this film - for most of this film - by the subject matter and by the powerful portrayal and production of these characters. Overall, this is a highly rated movie and one can only wonder at the mentality of persons in Australia who pushed for the banning of this film. This is a realistic account of the affects on the victims of child abuse and tells a compelling story of their plight. But don't expect a happy ending; there is some resolution but you know the battle continues and their struggle to overcome will go on. (I'm getting emotional again just thinking about the last scene.) I work with young people (15-25) who have been abused, often by their own parents, and placed into the care system. However, I have had clients who have then been abused in care as well. It is hard to reconcile such young people but gaining justice is quite central, as is a belief they are accepted and worthwhile human beings. Because they may have been sexually aroused during the abuse they can often feel guilty and to blame. They often internalise these feelings and depending on their personalities they will implode against themselves (drugs etc) and/or become de-sensitised to certain feelings and take risks. The boys in this film portray these two dichotomies and they do it very well. 10 stars.
I had high hopes for this film, since I have been a big fan of the novel on which it is based. The film exceeded my expectations in every way. Although quite faithful to the book (with many lines of dialogue and narration moving straight from Scott Heim's poetic prose), the movie has more drive and focus and pulls you so far into the troubled characters. Credit for the movie's strength goes all around -- director Araki put his mark on the story without taking it over. He got uniformily good performances (and somehow managed to direct scenes that any reader of the book would have thought completely unfilmable). Kansas has never looked better, or more sinister. The music is used well throughout. And the acting is terrific. The two youngest leads, Chase Ellison and George Webster, were entirely convincing in their scenes (and I hope they feel proud of their work, seeing as how there's no way they'll get to see this movie until sometime next decade). Michelle Trachtenberg and Jeff Licon have fairly thankless roles, playing characters who are somewhat less clear and crucial in the film than their characters were in the book. But they don't sweat that, they just play what the screen play has them do, and they excel. Licon, especially, I think, although Trachtenberg is at a disadvantage, as her part is really pretty small. And for me, at least, I think Mary-Lynn Rajskub, Brady Corbet, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt give about as good performances as one can give. Rajskub is so good that she gives the other actors in the film a space to react that is almost visible. Corbet is quiet and intense; if his performance sometimes lacks motivation, it is probably deliberate, as his character is struggling with identity and memory. And as for Gordon-Levitt, man, that guy can act. I really have a hard time thinking of any acting performance ever that has affected me as much. It is a difficult story, although I felt it ends hopefully. Hopefully, you will agree. Content is very strong, although perhaps not NC-17 strong. Not for kids. Adults, if you can get past the 2nd scene, you can get through it, but there is a lot of outlawed sexuality and violence. It is painful to watch at times, but to me at least, that's because the actors and the director managed to immerse me in the characters.
Araki has abandoned the nihilistic day-glo world of L.A teens to create his first truly great film. Indeed, by any standards, this film is magnificent. It follows two boys; one of whom was abused as a child and the other who believes that he was abducted by aliens' from childhood to their troubled later lives. The film has a visual beauty that pulls the viewer in even though the subject matter is both difficult and painful. The director pulls no punches in confronting the viewer with the horror of the situation but neither does he exploit it for tabloid style sensationalism. From the superb performances, the excellent and intelligent script, through to the inspired direction and stunning 'shoegazer' soundtrack this is a splendid film. I left the cinema deeply moved by what I had seen and can now only hope that Araki continues to work at this level of quality. Something quite special and a work of art