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?