Film review: ‘The Skin I Live in’
Wed, Nov 9, 2011 (5:04 p.m.)
Working with legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar for the first time since 1990’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Antonio Banderas plays a brilliant but insane surgeon who maintains an operating room on his private estate and performs regular procedures on a beautiful young woman (Elena Anaya). The doctor has created an unusually strong artificial skin, driven to the task after his wife died in a fire, and the young woman seems to be held captive in his house, with the complicity of his housekeeper (Marisa Paredes). And that’s really all I ought to tell you, because the only real charge The Skin I Live In offers is the gradual and increasingly demented reveal of what’s going on. Alas, there’s no emotional subtext to the outré scenario, arresting though it is; at the precise instant that the film threatens to address something real, it promptly ends.