Jan 25, 2012
The Skin I Live In 
Almovodar's latest movie, La piel que habito- "The Skin I live in", is quite remarcable. I think it is one of the best I have seen in the last year and it's curious not to see its name mentioned on top 10 lists or award nominations; but then again, I don't think a lot of people saw this movie.
The story is about Robert Ledgard, a brilliant plastic surgeon, who creates a new type of skin that resists any kind of damage. His guinea pig happens to be Vera, a mysterious and volatile woman, who is part of his troubled past. As the plot thickens, we learn the shocking truth about her identity, one that will heavily influence the fate of both the doctor, and her life. No spoilers here (I learned my lesson), but trust me when I say it is very interesting.
The main thing that makes this film so good is the perfect combination of the filmmaking elements in all the right amounts. Fast-moving, intricate, shocking storyline, with complex characters, realistic dialogue, a touch of science fiction, mixed with a lot of mistery, told in Spanish, a sensual, dynamic language; appropriate music to every scene, highlighted by the fantastic orchestra, especially violin, in key moments, accompanied by beautiful cinematography- all wrapped up nicely by clean editing and visually interesting shooting style. You can't wait to see what happens next, you are fascinated by the story and where it's going and the end just leaves you breathless- hours pass, but you keep thinking about the movie you just saw. All of the above are signs of a very good feature.
As for the performances, I was pleasantly surprised by Antonio Banderas, who is fantastic as the surgeon, and offers us the correct amount of crazyness, genius, love, desperation and determination. Elena Anaya is, also, very good as Vera, his misterious patient, and steals every scene with her unearthly beauty and calm. Jan Cornet (Vicente) is another standout, although he is not featured too much, while Marisa Paredes delivers every time you see on screen- you can see she is an experienced actress.
All in all, "Skin I live in" is fantastic and I highly recommend it, whenever you will have the chance to see it!
I am not very familiar with Almovodar, as I have only seen 2 or 3 of his movies! What do you recommend I should see next?
Labels: 2011, Antonio Banderas, cinematography, direction, Elena Anaya, foreign, Jan Cornet, movie, Pedro Almovodar, performance, pick of the day, Piel que habito, poster, script, Skin I live in, soundtrack
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Great review, I loved the movie and I'm shocked it was snubbed on the Oscars. I'd recommend "All about my mother", "Carne tremula", "Volver" and "Talk to her".ReplyDelete
It's a very weird and bizarre flick but the direction is there and Banderas is better than ever. Good review Aziza.ReplyDelete
This was also one of my favorites from last year, and I agree with the films Sati mentioned, especially Volver and Talk to Her.ReplyDelete
@Sati: Thanks for the recommendations! Glad you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
@Dan: Yes, Banderas was very good! Thanks Dan!
@BT: I will check them out soon!
I keep meaning to see this, but other things keep getting in my way, grr! Great review, I've heard a lot of people say how shocking it is!ReplyDelete
What have you seen?ReplyDelete
I love Almodovar, as you know I am on a marathon.
I would recommend Bad Education, it is fantastic... and very f*cked up
@Ruth: It is shocking, but not over the top! A great movie, you should see it soon!ReplyDelete
@Scott: I know you are doing a marathon, I remember reading a post about three Almovodar movies. I think I saw Mala Education, but the only thing I remember of it is Gael Garcia Bernal dressed up as a woman and some gay sex scenes. I might have to see it again! Thanks!
I really enjoyed the film. One of the best of the year for me.ReplyDelete
I'm not familiar w/ Almodovar's work at all but I'm curious about this one. Sounds disturbing though, maybe I should watch Volver first as my intro to this director.ReplyDelete
@Dan: One of the best for me, as well! Thanks!ReplyDelete
@Ruth: Yeah, maybe you should! I have to see Volver, too!
I agree, I was expecting The Skin I Live In to get nominated, Almovodar is often in the foreign language category at the oscars. I'm not a big fan of the director, but his latest made my top films from 2011 list.ReplyDelete
What I like is you can see it for the thrill ride, or its a character study if you want it to be.
Nice review, really glad you liked this. I'm a huge Almodovar fan, I've seen most of his films and while I cannot recommend All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Volver and Broken Embraces highly enough, The Skin I Live In is the best Almodovar film I've seen.ReplyDelete
@Chris: Yes, you are right, it can be either a thrill ride or a character study- both are interesting to observe!ReplyDelete
@Alex: No Bad Education? I have the others on a list, whenever I will decide to start my Almovodar marathon, I will check them out! Thanks Alex! Nice profile picture!
ha thanks! Bad Education is definitely good (not nearly worthy of its NC-17 rating), but I'd rank it below the other ones I mentioned.ReplyDelete