Mysterious Skin is a 2004 film written, produced and directed by Gregg Araki, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet. It's based on the 1995 novel by Scott Heim.
The film centres on two parallel storylines, one involving a boy named Neil, and the other focusing on Brian. Each boy suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the same man when they were little. The film shows how this affected each of them in vastly different ways, as we see Neil grow into a streetwise hustler and Brian become increasingly obsessed with UFOs.
This has to be one of the most gut-wrenching films that I have ever seen. Make no mistake, there is graphic content in this film, and it's going to be difficult even for some adults to sit through. That being said, if you can tolerate the type of delicate subject matter that the story deals with, there is a very good film here. Some of the scenes are incredibly well shot, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves whole-heartedly that he is an immensely talented performer. It's a shame he doesn't do small indie films like this anymore, because this is where he really shines as an actor.
One of my favourite things about this film is actually its soundtrack. It's very subtle and understated, and incredibly well-executed. It fits each scene perfectly so that when you go back and listen to it again, you can easily picture what was happening on screen when a particular piece was playing.
The film is rated R and has a running time of 105 minutes. Well worth the watch, if you can handle it.
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