Mysterious Skin (2004)
Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison
Not all coming-of-age movies should be rainbows and first finger-bangs. Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin is a sobering look at child abuse. Opening in 1972, the film follows two young men as they negotiate the world in the wake of life-altering sexual abuse.
Neil McCormick (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) becomes a hustler in New York. His friend Brian (Brady Corbet) shuts himself off from the rest of the world, obsessing over the possibilities of alien abduction. Unsettling but ultimately a rewarding experience in sympathy and love, Araki's eighth feature is too honest to be ignored. —RS