TIFF13: The Bibliophile: Under the Skin by Michel Faber

I chose to begin my project with Under the Skin by Michel Faber in part because the story was so intriguing. An alien creature drives around Scotland, picking up male hitchhikers, because, well, I don’t want to say why. Let’s just say that it is a little bit Never Let Me Go, (a successful book to film), and a bit TIFF12 opening film Looper in places, and perhaps a bit Jonathan Swiftian. It’s definitely a social satire, and I am not sure if that transition is going to translate perfectly to the film.

In the role of Isserly, (who somehow has become “Laura” for the film), the director, Jonathan Glazer has cast Scarlett Johansson. Can she pull off alien creature? I have no doubt. Can she pull off Scottish? Or will she not have to do so?

That is a shame, because the book is so overwhelmingly Scottish, (the irony, of course, is that the writer was…born in The Netherlands). Jonathan Glazer is English, so may keep the setting, though he might not. I’ll be fascinated to see how this book to movie transition works. At times, I found the language of the book too inaccessible, though the story is fascinating, and definitely gets…under the skin.



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