Pedro AlmodóvarSpain120 minutes2011ColourSpanish
Almodóvar reunited with Antonio Banderas for the first time in over two decades for this offbeat take on the mad-scientist movie, about the twisted relationship between a brilliant plastic surgeon and his beautiful, young captive/test subject.
For his first film with Antonio Banderas in over two decades, Almodóvar chose a genre that at first glance would appear to be well outside his wheelhouse: the mad-scientist movie, complete with secluded manor, gruesome experiments, and a servile lackey. Exiled from the medical community for illegally conducting experiments on human subjects, superstar plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Banderas) retreats to his remote estate, where, with the help of his matronly servant (Marisa Paredes), he keeps a young woman named Vera (Elena Anaya) prisoner, subjecting her to a series of forcible surgical procedures as he attempts to perfect a new form of artificial skin. While evoking Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face and the collected works of David Cronenberg, The Skin I Live In is all Almodóvar in its particular twist on the body-horror genre; on reflection, it's actually incredible to think that it took the filmmaker 30 years to concoct a story explicitly focused on the desire to create a "perfect" human body.