Adapted by Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv from his own Oscar-winning short, Skin is an engrossing, if occasionally overly bombastic, exploration of neo-Nazismin modern rural America. An unrecognisable Jamie Bell stars as Bryon, a brooding, heavily-tattooed skinhead who attempts to sever ties with his fascist ‘family’ after his new girlfriend Julie (Danielle Macdonald) offers hima taste of normality. But Bryon’s hateful gang leaders (Bill Camp and a revelatory Vera Farmiga) prove reluctant to relinquish their grip on the lad. Bell delivers an impressively nuanced performance, gradually revealing the humanity obscured by Bryon’s menacing facade. The script sometimes struggles to keep pace with this bravura turn – the protagonist’s redemptive arc is a touch thinly-sketched and idealistic. But Nattiv’s slick direction ensures a darkly atmospheric, queasily suspenseful ride.
Skin | Directed by Guy Nattiv (US 2018) with Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald. Starts Oct 3.
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