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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Skin I Live In (2011) Drama Quick Hit


The Skin I Live In (2011) - Quick Hit! Not a full review but here are some words about this film. "La piel que habito" another fine film by director Pedro Almodovar. Almodovar writes and directs excellent melodrama and this film, although less excellent than some of his other films, like "All About my Mother", "Volver", and "Broken Embraces" it is a fine film about obsession and revenge. It is impossible to tell you much of the story without giving too much away but I am definitely going to do a jig around it here.
Antonio Banderas plays Robert Ledgard a plastic surgeon driven by the memories of his wife's death after being severely burned in a car crash. He secretly develops a new kind of artificial skin, but human experimentation is frowned upon by the establishment so a secret illegal test subject is needed. How he gets this guinea pig and who it is is so central to the film. Going into it would spoil, but oh my what a story. His captive Vera (Elena Anaya) wants her freedom but has been captive so long it seems she also has a connection to Ledgard. There is this strange co dependence that is eerie and after the twist you see the reasons.
  The remarkable thing in Almodovar films are the original if disturbing turns they take. I have to say this film had a turn that is so remarkable that it is impossible to get. This compelling story is not about happy ending, but how often do happy ending happen to revenge driven psychopaths. From experience let me say not very often and Ledgard will have to deal with the consequences of his actions. If this relationship between Vera and Robert were the only thing to think about it would be an interesting film but there is so much more. Marilia (Marisa Paredes) assists the doctor but has her own secrets. Her son Zeca (Roberto Alamo) brings some madness to the plot. Mixed in is the back story that has driven Ledgard to this point, the accident that disfigured his wife, the effect it had on his daughter Norma (Blanca Suarez). Her own tragedy is a stunning point that drives the story forward in the most prominent way.
  As always with Almodovar film this one was enjoyable to this reviewer. It is not quite as good as some of his others but still it is good.
Rating (6.3) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

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