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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Movie Review - The Skin I Live In

The Skin I Live In [La piel que habito] (2011)
Starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, and Marisa Paredes
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

While I've certainly heard of Spanish director-screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar, I've never seen one of his films.  From the little I know of him, I've gleaned that his films are often melodramatic and full of appealing visuals.  The Skin I Live In definitely fits that criteria...I'm just not exactly sure heavy dramatics and pretty colors make a good film.

It's not that The Skin I Live In is bad...it's simply that its story is odd (and I don't want to spoil it too greatly).  Basically, Antonio Banderas is Robert Ledgard, a world renowned surgeon who, after his wife was horrifically burned in a car crash several years prior, throws himself into the task of creating an artificial skin to help burn victims live a better life.  In and of itself, that's the basic storyline.  However, throw in a woman (Elena Anaya) secretly locked up in Ledgard's house for reasons unknown, a maid (Marisa Paredes) with a son who has a fondness for sex crimes, and a guy on a motorcycle who winds up at the wrong place at the wrong time, and the film absolutely scores high on the soap opera aspects.

Admittedly, I wasn't bored a single bit while watching this movie.  It successfully held my interest and when it ended, my thought was, "Well, that was interesting."  I still think it was "interesting" two days removed, but I also can't help but think that there just wasn't a believable story there which ultimately hurt the flick.  The over-the-top storyline perhaps makes for a fun watch, but it causes the flick to lose any resonance as the days pass.

Still, The Skin I Live In is a flick that I'm happy I watched.  There's a nice performance from Antonio Banderas and a subdued though intriguing turn from Elena Anaya as Ledgard's captive.  The direction by Almodóvar certainly intrigued me enough to check out some more of his films, but I worry a bit that his kooky screenwriting is something that I just might not be able to fully embrace.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

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