Friday, November 11, 2011

The Skin I Live In

On his secluded estate, mysterious plastic surgeon toils away on his new invention, a durable type of skin that can withstand heat and penetration. His test subject is a beautiful and seemingly willing prisoner whom he has locked away in his mansion and monitored by closed circuit camera. When his half brother disrupts his dubious practices, he becomes close with the subject as we are taken down the decadent road that led to their current arrangement. "The Skin I Live In" is director Pedro Almodovar at his most gawdy, providing a bizarre and soapy story with high drama and plush colors. Antonio Banderas, reuniting with the director, delivers a fantastic and obsessive performance as the ethics-free doctor. Elena Anaya is also fine as Banderas's test patient, and the mysteries surrounding her situation are truly a kick to the gut when revealed. There are several plot points and implications that are left unresolved here, but this is still a sinuously gorgeous piece of entertainment.