Skin Deep

Skin Deep (Mark Joffe, Chris Langham, 1983) wr. Anne Lucas, prod. Stanley Walsh, dp Ray Henman; Briony Behets, Antoinette Byron, Angelo D'Angelo, Paul Dawber, Carmen Duncan, Jon Finlayson, Kate Fitzpatrick, Liz Harris, Bartholomew John, Nicole Kidman, Bobby Limb; telemovie; 100 min.

Despite the provocative title, there is no gratuitous nudity in this. The title is, however, appropriate in relation to the superficiality of the subject matter, which concerns the exploitation of girls wanting to get into modelling. There is also a plot twist worthy of a Victorian novel. And rape and murder, tho not on screen. It's Kidman's first feature, playing 14 at the age of about 16. She's the one who's raped and murdered, so disappears fairly early on. The film belongs to Carmen Duncan and Briony Behets, tho neither is trying very hard. The usually gorgeous Kate Fitzpatrick looks very ordinary, phoning in her performance. She may have been experienced enough by then to know that this was not worth the effort. Nice to see Bobby Limb in one of his very few film appearances. Oh, and James Smillie [sic]. Personal note: I was the top boy soprano at the church I attended ... until Jim turned up. Even as a boy he had a magnificent voice, and it's that that has made his fortune as a man. Not a dramatic actor, but makes up for it with good looks and charm.


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