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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 Vera comes to the clothes shop in a taxi, the taxi is very clearly a Ford C-Max. However, in the next shot, when the reflection of the car is visible in the window pane as it drives away, it's a Volkswagen Jetta. 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 »


Shades of Marble
Written and Performed by Anders Trentemøller
Strings by Davide Rossi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A tour de force, as Almodóvar plunges into new philosophical depths
12 September 2011 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

In his latest film Almodóvar takes a qualitative jump into new philosophical depths. His usual reflections on the nature of relationships and the consequence of one's actions take on a well- defined shape and advance forward with self-assurance.

The order in which the events of the story are told is a cunning device that allows the director to make us reflect on how superficially - indeed, skin-deep - we perceive reality and how quick we are to judge first impressions and jump to conclusions. What we first perceive one way, those initial scenes that slightly baffle us but which we nevertheless do not hesitate to judge in a specific way, take on a completely new meaning when the story pauses to take us back into the past in order to tell us about an important series of events that happened at the time which bear a direct relation to present events. The new light that is shed on the present changes completely our perception of the story as we had first witnessed it, which is a humbling experience. We are then taken back again to the present and continue watching the rest of the film, but with this completely new understanding of the real underlying motivations for the characters' actions. It is at this point that through a slight thriller-style twist in the plot the story takes on a Shakespearean dimension as it delivers its powerful humanist lesson that vengeance begets vengeance.

Food for thought, in fact enough food to last you days and feed other people, as you are left on the one hand wondering at the concept of skin: what we actually desire when we desire someone, whether all desire is skin-deep, whether the skin does not allow us to see the person behind. And on the other hand you are left with the reflection on how the road of vengeance leads only to self-destruction. When a film leaves you pondering so deeply, I can only conclude it is a great film.

81 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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