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The Skin I Live In lacks Almodovar's famously charged romance, replaced with a wonderfully bizarre and unpredictable detour into arthouse ick. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Ever since his beloved wife was horribly burned in an auto accident, Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), a skilled plastic surgeon, has tried to develop a new skin that could save the lives of burn victims. Finally, after 12 years, Ledgard has created a skin that guards the body, but is still sensitive to touch. With the aid of his faithful housekeeper (Marisa Paredes), Ledgard tests his creation on Vera (Elena Anaya), who is held prisoner against her will in the doctor's mansion.

Cast & Crew

Antonio Banderas
Dr. Robert Ledgard
Blanca Suárez
Norma
Susi Sánchez
Vicente's Mother
Esther García
Producer
José Luis Alcaine
Cinematographer
José Salcedo
Film Editor
Alberto Iglesias
Original Music
Antxón Gómez
Art Director
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News & Interviews for The Skin I Live In

Critic Reviews for The Skin I Live In

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (65) | Fresh (142) | Rotten (34)

Audience Reviews for The Skin I Live In

  • Apr 20, 2021
    A strange and disturbing odyssey. The screenplay at times seems like something De Palma would have made back in the 80s, but in Almodóvar's hands the more outrageous elements are downplayed, which has the effect of making them convincing, or at least making the characters convincing while the narrative takes its most outrageous twists and turns.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2019
    Unnerving yet engrossing, The Skin I Live In is a subtle thriller with a satisfyingly-developed twist. Its chic set design appears to pay homage to Kubrick's similarly uncomfortable A Clockwork Orange.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2014
    Extending some evident influence from Georges Franju's Les yeux sans visage (1960) to a disturbing psychosexual realm, Almodóvar constructs a classy horror tale of truly horrifying proportions that has shocked audiences worldwide. He achieves this by drawing the thin line between obsession and insanity, between the male and the female body, between perceptions and concepts, capturing every frame with respectable artistry. Was drawing the line enough? No. As the bold director he was especially in the 80s, he crosses it like he used to do in the past! And that's the point, people, where things start to get interesting. The classical score elevates tension of the melodrama and about the absolute tragedies that unfold in front of our eyes. He has not lost his trademark styles; leaving clichéd dramas and comedies aside (perhaps temporarily?), eroticism becomes a weapon in the artist's palette, assaulting the senses and challenging us to leave the theater. How ironic, isn't it? Before the horror develops, the screenplay discreetly throws a criticism towards our ethical standards: Bioethics supposedly condemns human transgenesis (even if it is proven that pig cells are strikingly similar and even superior to our own in some biological aspects) but we are happily self-proclaimed as omnivore beings. Brilliant aspect that makes you think about the foundation of your own ethics. Almodóvar never takes a side, however. He captures the talents of the novel while letting our minds decide, once that our stomach has "digested" this aggressive beast. This is one of his finest films. Watching him return to his glorious days 25 years ago restores my faith in him. 89/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2013
    Even with Robert Ledgard(Antonio Banderas) being a super-renowned plastic surgeon, he is still not allowed to experiment on humans, swearing up and down to the institute president(Jose Luis Gomez) that he has not been doing so. Except he is lying. The good news, ethics aside, is he has been very successful with Vera(Elena Anaya), kept in isolation at his villa, even as she makes it painfully clear how much she disagrees with that assessment. Marilia(Marisa Paredes) warns him that he will either eventually have to kill her or free her. And that's before Zeca(Roberto Alamo) shows up in a tiger suit... As much as I am a fan of Pedro Almodovar, it is on a sad note that his latest film "The Skin I Live In" comes as something of a disappointment, even as it heralds back to his earlier provocations, with characters being violated in more than one way. But that coupled with the director's recent formalism results in a strangely vapid concoction that has more to do with "Vertigo" than "Eyes without a Face." Some of that comes down to the movie's flashback structure, including a circling back to a key incident which changes nothing, that assumes we have any interest in who Vera and Robert are/were. And Marilia's revelations about Robert's family history are irrelevant considering anybody could have snapped after all he had been through. What would have worked much better is if "The Skin I Live In" had been told in a straightforward fashion, allowing the tension and unease to build naturally in a what-is-this-sick-bastard-going-to-come-up-with-next sort of way.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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