7.6/10
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The Skin I Live In (2011)

La piel que habito (original title)
Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Pedro Almodóvar
Reviews
Popularity
2,087 ( 64)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 28 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Banderas ... Robert Ledgard
Elena Anaya ... Vera Cruz
Marisa Paredes ... Marilia
Jan Cornet ... Vicente
Roberto Álamo ... Zeca
Eduard Fernández ... Fulgencio
José Luis Gómez ... Presidente del Instituto de Biotecnología
Blanca Suárez ... Norma Ledgard
Susi Sánchez ... Madre de Vicente
Bárbara Lennie ... Cristina
Fernando Cayo ... Médico
Chema Ruiz ... Policía
Buika Buika ... Cantante (as Concha Buika)
Ana Mena Ana Mena ... Norma joven
Teresa Manresa Teresa Manresa ... Casilda Efraiz
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the books in Vera's room is "Angel at My Table" by Janet Frame. This book is an autobiographical account of how she grew from someone, in the author's own words, "as sexless as a stick of wood", to an appreciation of her own sexuality. (The book is acknowledged in the credits.) See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marilia: [to servant] Help me with the dumbwaiter.
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Connections

References Vera Cruz (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Petite Fleur
Music by Sidney Bechet
© Copyright 1952
Carrousel Editions administrado por Warner Chappell Music Spain
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User Reviews

 
It will make your skin crawl...
25 August 2011 | by the_rattlesnake25See all my reviews

Pedro Almodovar is not a conventional filmmaker by any means. His films openly explore subjects many acclaimed directors fear to tread and absorb in their whole entire careers, but what is always guaranteed with Almodovar is a sense of wonderment and the unexpected, and 'The Skin I Live In' ('La piel que habito') is no different. Based briefly on Thierry Jonquet's 2003 novel 'Mygale,' Almodovar's latest film is a delightful and refreshing combination of multiple genres including drama, thriller and body horror. It's shockingly sincere, beautifully horrifying and has an appeal that will keep the audiences eyes locked towards the events on-screen until the final credits roll.

Dr Robert Lesgard (Antonio Banderas) is a renowned surgeon who is attempting to achieve a breakthrough in bio-medical sciences by creating a synthetic skin through transgenisis. Classified as a horrific mutation by some, and acknowledged by Robert as an innovation, his experiments come at a price. His human test subject is a beautiful woman named Vera (Elena Anaya) who is contained within his home, and cared for by his head servant Marilia (Marisa Paredes). Vera is not like other women, she wears a skin-coloured suit made out of fabric instead of clothes, she is constantly watched by Robert and Marilia, and she never leaves her room, which only Robert himself holds the key too. What follows is a startling journey of discovery as the narrative unravels a story of disturbing past, present and future events; transforming the lives of all those involved.

Beginning in Toldeo in 2012, Almodovar utilizes a constantly underused and under-appreciated device in the nonlinear narrative. He provides the audience with one perception of each character before returning in flashback during the second act to six years previously where further events are explained and through this, the audience's initial observations of the characters become undermined and drastically altered. He then digresses between past and present at will building a comprehensive picture of each character involved as the story develops revealing some startling and disturbing discoveries. This decision to structure the film in this way, also adequately supplements Almodovar's need to explore his key themes including sexual identity, and the nature of the moral of ethics of the human soul after it has been literally stripped bare.

Coupled with the beautiful cinematography from Almodovar's long-time collaborator Jose Luis Alcaine and an original and complimentary score by Alberto Iglesias, 'The Skin I Live In' also becomes an example of technically proficient filmmaking which works alongside the performances of the likes of Banderas and Anaya, as well as the slickly written script which keeps the audience on their toes until the final curtain has been dropped. Pedro Almodovar is undoubtedly one of the most successful auteurs of the last few decades, and with 'The Skin I Live In' he shows that he can almost touch upon a new genre, in the form of body horror genre-hybrid, whilst also retaining all the previous elements, themes and techniques which have made his films the deep-seated critically successful films that they are.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

2 September 2011 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

The Skin I Live In See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$223,119, 16 October 2011

Gross USA:

$3,185,812

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,678,406
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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