New Releases: The Skin I Live In – (2011)

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New Releases: The Skin I Live In - (2011) Genre: Drama, Thriller, Release Date: 2012-03-06 Duration: 117 Min ...

New Releases: The Skin I Live In – (2011)

New Releases: The Skin I Live In - (2011)
Genre: Drama, Thriller,
Release Date: 2012-03-06
Duration: 117 Min

  • Pedro Almodóvar

Por una vez, tengo ganas de ver una película de Pedro Almodóvar. Hace poco leí la “novella” en la que se basa esta película, traducida como La tarántula, y es una de las novelas más bizarras que he leído yo en mi vida. Desde luego, si es fiel a la novela el tema va perfectamente al esilo y a los temas que suele tratar Almodóvar.


Antonio Banderas

Elena Anaya

Jan Cornet

Marisa Paredes


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3 responses to “New Releases: The Skin I Live In – (2011)”

  1. Whitt Patrick Pond "Whitt" says:
    13 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A no-spoilers review of an absorbing and disturbing near-masterpiece, December 19, 2011
    Whitt Patrick Pond “Whitt” (Cambridge, MA United States) – (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: The Skin I Live in (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)

    The most important thing I can tell you about Pedro Almodóvar’s film, The Skin I Live In (original Spanish title: La piel que habito) is that you should avoid as much as possible knowing anything about it beyond the most basic setup before seeing it. This is one of those cases where spoilers truly can rob you of the full experience of a film. I say this as someone who went into the movie knowing little about it beyond the fact that Pedro Almodóvar directed it and that it had to do with a plastic surgeon obsessed with a mysterious female patient. And that really is the best way to see it.Adapted from Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula (original French title: Mygale) by Pedro Almodóvar and his brother Agustín Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In is a complex and, as the background layers are peeled away through revelation, deeply disturbing and chilling film. It begins in the present day where we see Robert Legard (Antonio Banderas), a prominent plastic surgeon and medical researcher who, because of the tragic death of his wife in a fiery auto accident several years earlier, is obsessed with creating a new kind of skin superior to the skin we’re born with, one that is not only both tougher and more resistant to burning and injury but also heals quicker and with little to no scarring. In his mansion, Dr. Legard has a special patient under his private, personal care, a young woman named Vera (Elena Anaya), on whom he is trying his new skin out. Our first impression is that Vera is a burn victim that Legrand is caring for, but it quickly becomes clear that Vera is more prisoner than patient. But just who is Vera? And how did she come into Legrand’s rather questionable ‘care’? And why does she so strongly resemble Legrand’s dead wife?As in so many his films, The Skin I Live In has many of Almodóvar’s almost trademark themes running all through it: complex familial relationships; the intertwining of family and personal secrets; the nature of desire, brutality and obsession; the lengths to which individuals can and will go; how actions can have the most unexpected and sometimes devastating consequences, and how, ultimately, we can never escape our pasts.The performances are pitch perfect, most particularly Antonio Banderas’ controlled and controlling – and casually chilling – Legard, who has his mansion wired so that he can observe his ‘patient’ from almost any part of the house, and Elena Anaya’s Vera with her perfect face and body and the haunted eyes that peer out from the skin she lives in, always aware that she is being observed. Added into the mix – and subtly working in other elements from classic standards of horror – are Marisa Paredes’s Marilia, Legard’s old housekeeper who serves as a kind of matronly Igor to Legard’s Victor Frankenstein, fiercely loyal but openly disapproving; Roberto Álamo’s Zeca, a brutal criminal on the run who serves as a kind of Hyde to Legard’s Jekyll – lust, rage and animal cunning to Legard’s cool controlled calculation. And last but not least, Jan Cornet’s Vicente, a callow young fool whose impulsive self-indulgence triggers a chain of events with consequences more dire than he could imagine. All of whom are bound to each other in ways known and unknown.The only reason I rate this four stars instead of five and call it a near-masterpiece instead of an all-out masterpiece is in how the final acts play out. After taking the viewer through a series of ever deeper and increasingly disturbing revelations, Almodóvar seems to settle for what I felt was a disappointingly conventional resolution. But that said, the film still stands out for all of the unexpected places it did take you before that slip back into the expected. There may be times when you’ll think you’ve seen this movie before and you know what’s going on, but I assure you, you haven’t and you won’t until the revelations have been made.Highly recommended for any fan of Almodóvar’s and for anyone else who likes well-crafted films that really push the boundaries.

  2. H. F. Corbin "Foster Corbin" says:
    5 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Almodovar Ice Cold, November 18, 2011
    H. F. Corbin “Foster Corbin” (ATLANTA, GA USA) – (VINE VOICE)
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    Certainly Pedro Almodovar is like no other movie maker on earth. I swear that you can pick his films out of a movie lineup. There is usually the sexual overlay, sometimes more obvious than at other times. Some of the women characters look as if they may not have been born women. On the other hand, some of the women are frightening beautiful (Elena Anaya as Vera is this film). And even in Almodor’s most serious films, there is an element of comedy. (As in this movie, only a mother can identify her masked son by seeing his naked butt!)We can all rejoice to see that Antonio Banderas, whom I believe Almodovar may have discovered, is aging well. His understated ice-cold portrayal of a scientist set on revenge– which is always best if rendered up cold– is quite wonderful.Unfortunately, “The Skin I Live In” is one of those movies that you cannot describe in detail or you will do a tremendous disservice to anyone wanting to see it. If you like Senor Almodovar, however, or if you want to see a film not like anything else you’ll see this year, then you should quietly slip into your local theatre. You are in for both a visual treat and a plot that will keep you wide awake!

  3. K. Gordon says:
    7 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A powerfully disturbing and thought provoking film, November 22, 2011
    K. Gordon(REAL NAME)

    A fascinating and powerful departure for Almodovar, or perhaps more accurately more an terrific hybrid of the best of his old and new. This has the darker, more actively perversely disturbing and violent themes of some of his early work like ‘Matador’ but shot and directed with the far smoother and more mature hand he has developed over the years. It also continues the more complex and fractured time structure approach of Almodovar’s more recent work, to great effect.In the end it’s a gorgeous looking, philosophically complex mystery and horror film. Although not particularly gory, this is a disturbing work, both on a literal story level, and also for the questions it raises about identity, love, sado-masochism, and passion run amok.These themes are all Almodovar touchstones, but delivered here with a visually stunning icy touch, and with much more complete logic than in his early works, which often felt less fully thought through, and had more frustrating plot holes and character leaps. Not a ‘scary’ film, but a creepy, moody and highly effective one. A dark fairy tale as told by, say Stanley Kubrick. It’s good to see Antonio Banderas reunited with Almodovar, and he delivers a wonderfully complex and quirky modern day Dr. Frankenstein. Less emotional than my two very favorite Almodovar films (Talk to Her, All About My Mother), but its exciting to see this extremely talented film maker continue to evolve and grow, and I think this represents work that can stand among his best.

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