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The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito)

The latest from Spanish cinemaestro Pedro Almodóvar!

Pedro Almodóvar again reveals his genius for turning the ridiculous into the sublime with this creepy skin flick – a melodramatic thriller that is sombre but never sober and that moves through time and space with much of the boldness and style we’ve come to expect from Spain’s leading director. The Skin I Live In reunites Almodóvar with Antonio Banderas, who puts in a charismatic turn as a tragic figure touched by evil. The last time Banderas worked with Almodóvar was for Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! in 1990. Twenty-one years later, they’re back together for an adaptation of Thierry Jonquet’s French novel Mygale (Tarantula). It’s the story of a plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Ledgard (Banderas), whose skills with the knife enable him to reconstruct a replica of his late wife from a young woman named Vera (Elena Anaya) whom he keeps locked up in a bedroom of his countryside mansion. Banderas puts in a commanding performance in a film whose thriller tendencies are made doubly interesting by also being an artful study of masks and identities, sex and flesh, bodies and power. The less said about the story, the better, as it’s built on slow revelations and quick surprises. The Skin I Live In is rooted in pain and loss, which pulls the film’s melodramatic side into a more thoughtful, provocative place than its surface suggests. After Broken Embraces, The Skin I Live In extends Almodóvar’s journey into dark, oppressive storytelling and more upscale and interior worlds. He chills his palette, rejecting the bright colours of old for something more maudlin and steely. There are flashes of humour, usually of the nervous kind. Mostly, though, this plays as a psychosexual thriller whose wild events are anchored soberly in Almodóvar’s meticulous direction and a performance from Banderas that tempers the more maniacal aspects of his character to offer an intensely controlled, deadly and charming screen presence. – Dave Calhoun, Time Out London Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Pedro Almodovar
Running Time: 
Spanish with English Subtitles
Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes
Screenplay by: 
Screenplay by: Pedro Almodóvar Based on the novel Tarantula by Thierry Jonquet

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