The Skin I Live In DVD REVIEW

Flesh feast

Antonio Banderas as surgeon Robert Ledgard.

Hey! Stop looking at the boobs, you big perv.

Release Date:
26 December 2011
2011 | 15 | 117 minutes | £19.99 (DVD)/£24.99 (Blu-ray)
Distributor: Pathé
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet

As one of the world’s truly unique directors, Pedro Almodóvar can usually be relied on to spin an unusual and gripping yarn. Which is exactly what he does here, with what’s effectively a mad doctor horror film, but that includes his regular themes of gender, identity and twisted sexual mores.

To reveal too much of the story would be unwise, and it only just veers into SFX territory, but it concerns a doctor (Antonio Banderas at his smoothest) who keeps a young woman imprisoned in his house (Elena Anaya, surely one of the world’s most beautiful actresses). She is forced to wear a skin-tight body suit and the only communication she has with the world is with the housekeeper Marilia (Marisa Paredes) over an intercom. Why is she there? Who is she? What is the housekeeper’s dark secret? Who’s the fella that turns up dressed like a cat?! All these questions, and more, are eventually answered in a back-and-forth narrative that makes an unconventional story even more unconventional.

It’s all so deliciously different and unpredictable – it really isn’t for everyone – that you can’t help but go along with the madness, with either a huge grin or an “I can’t believe they just did that” look on your face. It more than justifies the usual Almodóvar adjectives: “dark”,“unusual”, “erotic” and “twisted”.


Just 15 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Russell Lewin

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