Danielle Macdonald and Jamie Bell in Skin.

White supremacist Bryon Widner (Jamie Bell), after being raised on a doctrine of hate in a skinhead camp, has a change of heart when he finds love with a single mother (Danielle Macdonald).

Of course, putting a skinhead past behind you—especially when you’ve opted to tattoo your face with hate images—is not an easy thing. Writer-director Guy Nattiv, basing his film on Widner’s true story, does a nice job of showing that redemption sometimes comes at a high price.

Bell is great here as Widner, as is Macdonald as the woman who manages to love him even though he’s a complete asshole. The film feels like a distant cousin of the Edward Norton-starring American History X, although it doesn’t have the artistry of that movie. Still, the movie is a solid story, well-acted—and proof that Bell is a bigger talent than his resume shows.

The supporting cast includes Bill Camp as the leader of the skinhead camp, and Vera Farmiga as the leader’s nurturing yet classless and evil wife. Blink, and you’ll miss a quick appearance by Mary Stuart Masterson as Agent Jackie Marks. She acts like she’s in a different movie, but it’s fun to see her all the same.

Skin is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

One reply on “Home Video Review: ‘Skin’ Does a Fine Job of Telling the True Tale of a Former White Supremacist Who Sought Redemption”

  1. My name is Jaime Ray Newman, I’m a producer of the film SKIN. Thank you SO MUCH for your positive review of our film. We appreciate the recognition and especially Jamie Bell’s extraordinary and brave work. We spent almost a decade trying to tell Bryon Widner’s story. We hope it asks tough questions about forgiveness and the ability to change. These crazy times call for it on all sides, and art is the only way we know how to put that forward. All we want is for the world to be aware of the film and maybe it opens some hearts and minds.

    I saw that your review hasn’t been submitted to Rotten Tomatoes. Any possible chance you could reach out to them and submit? It would mean THE WORLD to us! Every single review counts, and we’d love your voice to be in there as soon as possible. Please let me know if there’s anything you need on our end.

    With much gratitude,
    Jaime and the SKIN Team

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