The Skin I Live In (15)
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes
Friday 26 August 2011
Describe the plot of Pedro Almodóvar's 18th feature and it sounds like the kind of cheesy B-horror movie that Peter Lorre used to star in late in his career.
A brilliant but deranged plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas) specialises in skin transplants. After his beautiful, mentally unstable daughter commits suicide, the surgeon vows revenge on the young man he holds responsible. The film boasts the most outrageous plot twist of any movie this year. It also contains the overboiled ingredients that lent such a strange taste to the Douglas Sirk melodramas of the 1950s that Almodóvar so admires: squabbling half-brothers, grief-stricken mothers, jealous fathers etc. What makes the film so unique is Almodóvar's approach toward his outlandish subject matter. It would be a mistake to describe his storytelling style as restrained. However, he directs in such deadpan fashion that you hardly notice how far-fetched the narrative really is. There is a fairy-tale element here too – a sense that in his own very perverse way, Almodóvar is revisiting the Beauty and the Beast myth. Banderas is the antithesis of the typical movie mad scientist: he's a soulful, introspective figure, more artist than monster. Elena Anaya is the woman he keeps locked away in his mansion in Toledo, moulding her so that she becomes more and more like his lost love. The film is ostensibly based on the novel Tarantula by Thierry Jonquet. However, Almodóvar, who usually writes his own screenplays, has utterly customised his source material. The result is one of his richest and strangest films.
TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies
Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 3 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
Toy Story 4: Pixar promises a romcom storyline 'separate' from the much-loved trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'