Under the Skin (1998)

Under the Skin (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Under the Skin Photos

Movie Info

Samantha Morton, who soon after this film gained attention for her role in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, makes an impressive feature debut in first time writer-director Carine Adler's bittersweet saga about a troubled woman's uneven progress toward self-realization. Morton plays Iris, a woman who feels ignored by her boyfriend Gary (Matthew Delamere), her self-possessed pregnant sister Rose (Claire Rushbrook), and even her beloved mother (Rita Tushingham). After their mother dies suddenly of a brain tumor, Iris falls apart. Tired of a supervisor's hostility, she suddenly quits her job as a clothing saleswoman and has a sexual encounter with Tom (Stuart Townsend), a man she meets in a movie theater. Iris leaves Gary, starts wearing her mother's wig, and dresses like a slut. She gets drunk and desperately picks up men in bars, and she ends up being abused by Max (Daniel O'Meara). Iris mooches money from her sister and they fight over a ring that Rose claims their mother gave her. She finds out that her best friend Vron (Christine Tremarco) has taken up with Gary and tries to seduce Rose's husband Frank (Mark Womack).
Art House & International , Documentary , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Channel 4


Mark Womack
as Frank
Crissy Rock
as Compere
Lisa Millet
as Sylvia
John Whitehall
as Man at Station
Marie Jelliman
as Manageress
Michelle Byatt
as Woman in Lost Property
Stella Scragg
as Customer
David Brice
as Man in Bed
Jack Marsden
as Builder
Sean Cauldwell
as Man in Club
Sandie Lavell
as Woman at Phone Box
Jill Broadber
as Conductor
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Under the Skin

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

In her feature debut, Adler shapes her film gracefully and elicits a scorching no-holds-barred, totally selfless portrayal from Morton.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

While Ms. Morton embodies the role with furious intensity and with a raw yet waifish presence that brings both Emily Watson and Claire Danes to mind, Ms. Adler directs the film in ways that live up to its title.

December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

It is buoyed by an unflinching performance from newcomer Samantha Morton, a young British actress who is willing to expose not only her body but her inner being as well.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Although Iris has no idea who she is, Morton is utterly certain, and inhabits her temporarily defeated soul with an ease that knocks you out.

December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Morton's Iris keeps going in circles... It's a spooky, movie-dominating performance.

December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Made with a novelist's eye for detail and a quietly impassioned visual flair.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Under the Skin

This film was shown last night on UK TV. Unfortunately I missed the first 20 minutes or so but the rest was so good I feel it is still worth commenting on. The film centres around the different reactions of two sisters to their mother's death - don't however get the impression that this is a film to be endured rather than enjoyed. Although the subject matter is serious and the film very emotionally moving, there are flashes of humour throughout and it is not boringly earnest for one moment. I read somewhere that the director is an admirer of Mike Leigh's "Naked". While it is no poor relation, if you appreciate the work of Mike Leigh you would probably also enjoy "Under the Skin".

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Another feminine text. Typical down-to-earth style of British Cinema. It might be new & provoking back in 1997 but kinda cliched & stereotyped for today's standard, though it was already a quality film. However I like Carine Adler's debut [Fever] in the bonus a bit more. A very wonderful & captivating Samantha Morton.


A raw and occasionally depressing first film with moments of chilling recognition and the film debut of a remarkable young star (Morton).

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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