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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 95,049 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 141 user | 404 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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 24 wins & 63 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?


Pedro Almodóvar worked on the screenplay for almost a decade, and what initially was an adaptation ended up being more of a story inspired by Thierry Jonquet's novel. See more »


When Doctor Robert Ledgard and his colleague are preparing themselves for the surgery they wear sterile gloves and then tie each other clothes from the back, that is considered non sterile, so they will contaminate the surgery. See more »


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


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.13 (2011) See more »


Por el amor de amar
Written by Jean Manzon and José Toledo
Performed by Buika (as Concha Buika) and Iván González Lewis (as Iván 'Melón' Lewis)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A disturbing and thought provoking film
22 November 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

A fascinating and powerful departure for Almodovar, or perhaps more accurately more an terrific hybrid of the best of his old and new. This has the darker, more actively perversely disturbing and violent themes of some of his early work like 'Matador' but shot and directed with the far smoother and more mature hand he has developed over the years. It also uses the more complex and fractured time structure style of Almodovar's more recent work, to great effect.

In the end its a gorgeous looking, philosophically complex mystery and horror film. Although not gory, this is a disturbing work, both on a literal story level, and also for the questions it raises about identity, love, sado-masochism, and passion run amok.

These themes are all Almodovar touchstones, but delivered here with a visually stunning icy touch, and with much more complete logic than in his early works, which often felt less fully thought through, and had more frustrating plot holes and character leaps.

Not a 'scary' film, but a creepy, moody and highly effective one. A dark fairy tale as told by, say Stanley Kubrick.

It's good to see Antonio Banderas reunited with Almodovar, and he delivers a wonderfully complex and quirky modern day Dr. Frankenstein.

Less emotional than my two very favorite Almodovar films (Talk to Her, All About My Mother), but its exciting to see this extremely talented film maker continue to evolve and grow, and I think this represents work that can stand among his best.

66 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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