Pedro peels back the layers.

Film Review: THE SKIN I LIVE IN

directed by Pedro Almodovar.

Pedro Almodovar is thankfully a prolific filmmaker, every couple of years unleashing another cinematic treat. I always look forward to the next film by ‘Almodovar’ and even when they are not ‘one of his best’, they are far better than most other films on offer. “The Skin I Live In” is no exception. Full of all the usual Almodovarian trademarks – sensational design, sensual cinematography and seductive music, alongside melodrama, mayhem and madness. His themes of yearning and loss are also intact. This time he tackles his first ‘horror’ movie and he relishes the genre, bending it and twisting it and having a lot of fun doing it. Reunited with an actor whom he can lay claim to discovering, Antonio Banderas who portrays Robert Ledgard a mad doctor in the vein of Frankenstein – a hugely successful plastic surgeon with vengeance on his mind. He is deeply affected by the death of his wife and daughter. We meet him as his obsession to create a perfect skin treatment that will revolutionise his field is revealed to his peers. Meanwhile back at his very stylish mansion on the outskirts of Toledo he has a strange young woman (his monster) in captivity, a secret experiment only known to one other, his loyal housekeeper Marilia played wonderfully by Marisa Peredes (a Pedro regular, most famously in All About My Mother) . Who is this girl? (Elena Anaya in a very touching performance) Where has she come from? Why is she here? All will be revealed in a tantalising fashion that will not disappoint any fans of the directors oeuvre. While some may argue that this movie is a lesser film, I disagree and believe that it stands high up there with many others, particularly of the “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down” and “Kika” period. It may seem a little cold and detached but I think that is intended. Make what you will of the messages – identity being a major player, it is a moving, strange, funny, wicked and at times very creepy film well worth time spent in a darkened theatre.

“The Skin I Live In” opens in Australia on boxing day December 26.

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5 Comments

Filed under Almodovar, film review, movies

5 responses to “Pedro peels back the layers.

  1. I love Almodóvar too. Not caught this yet but will do over the Christmas hols I’m sure. Nice review. Well done.

  2. tatts

    Tie me up Tie me down is one of my favourites …. haven’t seen for years. saw in Melbourne years ago and dear old Miss Mandy’s house…. in Albert Park before it was full of prams…. (sigh) ….. memories …. but that’s another BABS

  3. Doris

    Excellent review Babs- I concur…..
    Just to add though- special mention for Concha Buika, who we finally get to see singing on screen. That man has impeccable taste!

  4. Wanda

    My favourite film maker and my favourite singer… Wanda vill die, darlink! It is just tooo tooo marvellous. Can’t wait.

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