Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Top 15 Films of the Decade: No. 12

12. Mysterious Skin (2005)

In 2005, Greg Araki’s Mysterious Skin became something of a milestone for the filmmaker, in that it was his first film that was a good one. But, more than that, it was also kind of brilliant. Thrusting Joseph Gordon-Levitt into the serious-actor-with-serious-talent-to-back-it-up world, Mysterious Skin is a terrifyingly personal, and utterly damaged examination of pedophilia--and, even more so…fucked up youth (to put it eloquently). The film is all together graphic, beautiful, and disturbing, but it never really strives to be any of those things; and there’s the give away. It’s Araki’s total lack of pretension and complete respect for the subject that elevates it above his usually socially satirical drivel. He approaches the film with such focus and beautiful directness, that it becomes a sort of graceful rumination on the sinking feeling of regret, and the realization of imperfect sorrow.

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