Friday, January 20, 2006

Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Films, LLC
Director: Gregg Araki
Length: 104 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 19 January

Gregg Araki was always a director I heard should be avoided. His films were supposed to be flashy, aggressive and empty, so I saw no reason to watch Mysterious Skin when it appeared last summer. I'm glad I changed my mind. This is a fantastically written, well-acted look at the ramifications of sexual abuse. The two types of denial represented by the characters, and the extreme repression of Brian (Brady Corbet) and the self-destruction of teen hustler Neil (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are superbly brought to the screen through the script, the actors, and of course, director Araki. The film is intense and unflinching, and very carefully edited, and yet, never exploits Brian and Neil, but shows, matter-of-factly, how they deal with the suffering brought on by the abuse of their Little League coach. Most critics have taken to Neil's story, but I took to Brian's story more. His relationship with Avalyn (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is especially engrossing and tragic. The film drags in the middle, which is the only disappointing aspect of the movie. Otherwise, if you can handle the disturbing subject matter and the particularly scary rape scene towards the end, you will be rewarded with seeing one of the year's best films.


Anonymous Belisha said...

"matter-of-factly" ne!

20 January, 2006 07:50  

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