Austin Film Festival 2014
By Don Simpson | October 29, 2014
Director: Jon Leahy
Writer: Monica Zanetti
Starring: Zara Zoe, Monica Zanetti, Robert Alexander, Olga Assabgy, Gael Ballantyne, Elizabeth Blackmore, Jeanie Drynan, Adam Gibson, Takaya Honda, James Mackay, Ben McIvor, Stephen Multari, Billie Rose Prichard, Rebecca Smart, Monica Trapaga
Leah (Zara Zoe) has been undergoing non-traditional treatment in Sydney for terminal melanoma. During one fateful trip to the doctor’s office, Leah finds herself stranded in Sydney after her boyfriend forgets to pick her up. While wandering aimlessly around the streets, Leah meets Caitlin (Monica Zanetti), a lesbian woman who seems determined to teach Leah how to enjoy life.
As the night progresses, it becomes readily apparent that Caitlin was in desperate need for a friend. Still having not recovered from what seems to have been a tumultuous break-up, Caitlin has been drowning her sorrows in wine. Meeting Leah has given Caitlin an opportunity to drink with someone else, as well as think of excuses to celebrate life.
Centered around two great performances and taking place over the course of one night, Skin Deep captures how alcohol and friendship provide these two women with much needed emotional releases. Free of inhibitions, Leah and Caitlin run around Sydney under the magical glow of the streetlights. The manic mood swings of the night alternate the tone from childish whimsy to serious melancholy.
Skin Deep cleverly juxtaposes the pain of a serious break-up with a diagnosis of a terminal disease. Though their situations are much different, Leah and Caitlin are both dealing with deep emotional pain. They have learned how to internalize that pain as best that they can, but that has only made it fester deep inside of them. By spending this night together, Leah and Caitlin learn how to better deal with their situations, thus taking their first true steps towards healing.