*Under the Skin is the best film of the year so far. Scarlett Johansson (pictured left) is perfect as the alien seductress at the movie’s center, a blithe black widow who gets increasingly weaker the further she explores a budding humanity that is only skin deep. Director Jonathan Glazer uses the Maxim Hot 100 mainstay in much the same way that James Cameron used former Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator—as both an almost too-perfect metajoke and as a back door to introducing some troubling ideas about dehumanization. Under the Skin makes Johansson’s blinding sex appeal and self-conscious acting style essential to her character.
*The rancid Fading Gigolo sleazily postulates that the beautiful and lonely female professionals of modern-day New York crave only one thing: 57-year-old John Turturro (pictured left, with co-star Woody Allen). But here’s the joke: there’s no joke, that’s the movie.