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Mysterious Skin (2004)

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A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director:

Gregg Araki

Writers:

Gregg Araki (screenplay), Scott Heim (novel)
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Popularity
4,676 ( 738)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chase Ellison ... Neil (age 8)
George Webster ... Brian (age 8)
Rachael Nastassja Kraft Rachael Nastassja Kraft ... Deborah (age 12) (as Rachael Kraft)
Lisa Long ... Mrs. Lackey
Chris Mulkey ... Mr. Lackey
Elisabeth Shue ... Mrs. McCormick
David Lee Smith ... Alfred
Bill Sage ... Coach
Riley McGuire Riley McGuire ... Wendy (age 11)
Ryan Stenzel Ryan Stenzel ... Stephen Zepherelli
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Neil
Richard Riehle ... Charlie
Michelle Trachtenberg ... Wendy
Brady Corbet ... Brian
Larry Marko Larry Marko ... Old man with scar
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Storyline

Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two boys. One can't remember. The other can't forget.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piel misteriosa See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,425, 8 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$697,181, 31 July 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Sundance Channel Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the 3/20/2006 "Unrated Director's Edition" Strand Releasing DVD, when the viewer selects to play the movie, a blue tinted 6 second clip from the film (at 1:35:42) of 8-year-old Neil saying "Here we go" plays before the movie actually begins. The movie starts with text on a white background. See more »

Goofs

When he arrives in Brighton Beach on a December night in 1991, Neil is seen noting where the closest subway stop is. The Brighton Beach station sign shows a Q in a yellow circle and a Q in a yellow diamond. But the "Q diamond" train was operating on that line for only a few years starting in the early 2000s. Prior to that, the Brighton Beach stop serviced the "Q circle" and the D trains. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brian: [narration voice-over] The summer I was 8 years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours. Lost. Gone without a trace.
Brian: [narration voice-over] Last thing I remember I was sitting on the bench at my Little League game. It started to rain. What happened after that remains a pitch black void.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Blood Prom" Produced by Matthew Goldberg Directed by Jonny Gillette Crew and Cast: Kyle Jewell, Jonathan Dortch, Ricky Hayner, Patrick Okamura, Nicolas Barclift (as Nick Barclift), Valerie LaPointe, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Chad Hartigan, Mat Klickstein See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2005 film reviews generally list a 99 minute run-time. The British Board of Film Classification, bbfc.co.uk, rated the uncut 105m 19s film as 18 on 5/20/2005. The 3/20/2006 "Unrated Director's Edition" Strand Releasing DVD has a 104m 59s run-time, but its case lists a 99m length; it is also anamorphic 853x479 pixels format (1.78:1 aspect) but the case lists Letterboxed. The Internet Movie Database technical specifications list a 107 min Sundance Channel Library Print, but on Sundance.com Sundance TV lists a 105 minutes run-time. See more »

Connections

References Asteroids (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Crushed
Written by Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde
Performed by Cocteau Twins
Courtesy of 4AD Records Ltd.
Used by permission of Universal-Polygram Int. Publishing, Inc. o/b/o Universal/Momentum Music 3 Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very strong movie with difficult content
26 April 2005 | by RackOutOfFocusSee all my reviews

I had high hopes for this film, since I have been a big fan of the novel on which it is based. The film exceeded my expectations in every way. Although quite faithful to the book (with many lines of dialogue and narration moving straight from Scott Heim's poetic prose), the movie has more drive and focus and pulls you so far into the troubled characters. Credit for the movie's strength goes all around -- director Araki put his mark on the story without taking it over. He got uniformily good performances (and somehow managed to direct scenes that any reader of the book would have thought completely unfilmable). Kansas has never looked better, or more sinister. The music is used well throughout.

And the acting is terrific. The two youngest leads, Chase Ellison and George Webster, were entirely convincing in their scenes (and I hope they feel proud of their work, seeing as how there's no way they'll get to see this movie until sometime next decade). Michelle Trachtenberg and Jeff Licon have fairly thankless roles, playing characters who are somewhat less clear and crucial in the film than their characters were in the book. But they don't sweat that, they just play what the screen play has them do, and they excel. Licon, especially, I think, although Trachtenberg is at a disadvantage, as her part is really pretty small.

And for me, at least, I think Mary-Lynn Rajskub, Brady Corbet, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt give about as good performances as one can give. Rajskub is so good that she gives the other actors in the film a space to react that is almost visible. Corbet is quiet and intense; if his performance sometimes lacks motivation, it is probably deliberate, as his character is struggling with identity and memory. And as for Gordon-Levitt, man, that guy can act. I really have a hard time thinking of any acting performance ever that has affected me as much.

It is a difficult story, although I felt it ends hopefully. Hopefully, you will agree. Content is very strong, although perhaps not NC-17 strong. Not for kids. Adults, if you can get past the 2nd scene, you can get through it, but there is a lot of outlawed sexuality and violence. It is painful to watch at times, but to me at least, that's because the actors and the director managed to immerse me in the characters.


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