The Skin I Live InDirector: Pedro Almodóvar,
Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In finds him joining forces with Antonio Banderas for the first time in over 20 years. Banderas plays Dr. Robert Ledgard, a plastic surgeon who has invented a type of fake skin that is more durable than real skin. But he achieves this breakthrough with the assistance of Vera (
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Pedro Almodóvar continues to craft an impressive cinematic career by paying the best type of homage to Alfred Hitchcock—without blatantly copying Hitchcock, Almodóvar appropriates his style, his tone, and his penchant for terrifying subject matter and translates these elements into original, contemporary stories that Hitchcock himself would have surely told if he were alive today and living in Spain. “The Skin I Live In” focuses on Robert Ledgard (played by Antonio Banderas in what is undoubtedly the most sophisticated performance of his career), a plastic surgeon who has endured more than his share of tragedy—an unfaithful wife who suffers a horribly disfiguring accident, a traumatized daughter unable to cope with her family’s misfortune and other indignities, and a childhood and family history of his own that is shrouded in mystery. As he himself slips into madness, Ledgard uses his skill as a surgeon to exact a most horrifying type of revenge on the man who seemingly damaged his daughter beyond repair—and then uses that revenge in a gruesome charade that satisfies his longing for the happiness that has long since left him. In telling this contemporary Gothic tale, Almodóvar tackles a number of grand themes—power, love, delusion, desire—in a way that exploits our preconceptions of gender and identity. “The Skin I Live In” is a unique film. If you’re already an Almodóvar fan, you’ll surely enjoy it. If you’re not, it will almost certainly turn you into one.