Movie Reviews 109 – The Skin I Live In (2011)

The Skin I Live InTo be honest, this is the first film from famed director Pedro Almodovar that I’ve seen, but if any of his others are anything like “The Skin  I Live In” (“La Piel  Quel Habito”original Spanish title), I’ll be watching more. Something between a conventional thriller and a horror, this one is really hard to define because of it’s uniqueness, but that is part of the allure.

Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) is a noted and wealthy plastic surgeon and research scientist whose lavish villa home also has an entire surgical operating room as well as a  research lab. He’s also got a smoking hot chick being held captive in a locked room in the mansion. We’re immediately subjected to a number of questions regarding the captive and these are all slowly answered using flashback and timeline jumps during the movie. At first it is all very confusing as we know the woman resembles Robert’s former wife, but at the same time his wife is either dead or at least was in some horrific accident.

Equally confusing is a mid-movie 6 year jump to the past where we now see Robert keeping close tabs on his teenage daughter at a wedding reception when she manages to briefly escape his periodic glances and goes out with a young boy.

I don’t want to spoil it all but the story parts merge beautifully with storyline of the young boy and Robert’s daughter explaining the origins of the mysterious locked up girl. It all makes perfect, if not improbably and fantastically intricate sense by the end. We learn the entire sordid story along with the boys past, what really happened to Robert’s wife and daughter, and even the messed up relationship Robert shares with his main housekeeper.

The acting is all stellar throughout and certainly expands on Banderas’ usual acumen of pretty boy and jokester.

The movie great if you’re in the mood for something very different, creepy and mysterious all at the same time.

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