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Under the Skin

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Under the Skin is a dynamic and mesmerising drama which is at once moving, disturbing and ultra stylish, with cinematography by Barry Ackroyd ('Land and Freedom', 'Carla's Song' and many other films by Ken Loach) and design by up and coming designer John-Paul Kelly (Shane Meadow's '24/7'). Written and directed by Carine Adler, Under the Skin deals with the grieving process in a way that is rarely seen.

Nineteen year old Iris thinks she can handle her mother's untimely death. She doesn't understand why her older sister Rose is so upset. Surely life goes on, and in order to prove this Iris leaves her boyfriend Gary and moves into a bedsit. In her new home, she begins to transform herself by dressing up in her mother's wig, fur coat and sunglasses. A new sexually confident Iris emerges and she begins to haunt the streets and clubs of Liverpool, picking up men. Iris thinks that she is in control, that she is having fun. However, her increasingly manic behaviour is exacerbated by her combative relationship with her older sister Rose. The two sisters have always competed for their mother's attentions and her sudden death brings to the surface their feelings of jealousy and rivalry. Iris becomes increasingly estranged from her sister, her friends and her ex-boyfriend, who is trying to win her back.

Just when her life seems to be spinning dangerously out of control, Iris realises what it is that she has been running from. Able to finally face her grief, she is reunited with Rose and the two sisters share the pain and confusion of their mother's death. At some kind of peace at last, Iris is able to let go of her mother and face the future.


Type of film
Running Time
83 mins
35mm Kodak
Carine Adler 1st Feature
Kate Ogborn
Executive Producer
Ben Gibson
Director of Photography
Barry Ackroyd
Principal Cast
Samantha Morton, Claire Rushbrook and Rita Tushingham
Screen Writer
Carine Adler

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Last updated 26th November 2005

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Strange Dog
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