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The Skin I Live In (2011)
"La piel que habito" (original title)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  2 September 2011 (Spain)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 93,456 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 140 user | 401 critic | 37 from

A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 33 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roberto Álamo ...
Presidente del Instituto de Biotecnología
Norma Ledgard
Susi Sánchez ...
Madre de Vicente
Chema Ruiz ...
Buika ...
Cantante (as Concha Buika)
Ana Mena ...
Norma joven
Teresa Manresa ...
Casilda Efraiz


In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rape | transgender | skin | suicide | key | See All (176) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content including sexual assault, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 September 2011 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Koža u kojoj živim  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$223,119 (USA) (14 October 2011)


$3,185,193 (USA) (23 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Dr.Ledgard enters his bedroom, the book "The Selfish Gene" by 'Richard Dawkins' is open on his bed. The book's naturalistic approach is that a human being is a gene's way of making a new copy of itself; humans have limited say in the matter. This may reflect on Ledgard's state of mind in manipulating Vera. (The book is acknowledged in the credits.) See more »


When Ledgard's colleagues come to his mansion to perform the operation, one of them arrives in the Mercedes-Benz E class coupe which came into production in 2010. But the operation took place in 2006. Vicente wrote after the operation dates from 2006 on the wall of his room. See more »


[first lines]
Marilia: [to servant] Help me with the dumbwaiter.
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood's Top Ten: Antonio Banderas Movies (2011) See more »


Petite fleur
Written by Sidney Bechet
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Almodovar meets De Sade in The Skin I Live In.
28 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Skin I Live In is really a film that should be seen by a very big audience, obviously it's a movie that probably doesn't appeal to a very big crowd, it appeals to an older crowd or a young hipster type crowd who enjoy foreign films. I have read the novella Tarantula that this is supposedly loosely based on, however I found that it followed the novel extremely closely, I thought a lot of the twists and stuff that were in the book would be taken out if the film but thankfully most are present and accounted for.

Antonio Banderas is so terrific as the leading man, he hasn't looked this great in screen in a long time, I think he seems more at home in his native language, and Elena Anaya is absolutely radiant on the big screen, her face just lights up the screen and she is absolutely exceptional in a very strange role. The story is really a bizarre one, it's seems like a less perverted De Sade and a more understandable David Lynch, it always takes you by surprise and it is highly original and also somewhat daring I think, and thank god a director like Almodovar decided to film it and not some silly director.

The cinematography and music is beautiful, the colours and textures in the film are picked up beautifully by the camera and the music is a great companion to each scene, it's so close to perfection in the production design department that i would go so far to say as I haven't seen a better looking film this year.

This movie is in my opinion the least accessible of all of Almodovar's films but I hope it doesn't put people off, as his touch and style is clear and present here. It's very different, strange, perverted, horrific, beautiful and always entertaining.

Enjoy :)

28 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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