About Grant

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New York, NY, United States
Film director and screenwriter. Cinephile since birth. Director of DREAMS OF THE WAYWARD (2013). Film Studies MA student at Columbia University.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Film Review: "The Skin I Live In" (2011) directed by Pedro Almodóvar 5/5


Pedro Almodóvar started Antonio Banderas' career over twenty years ago, and this film features Banderas at his best. "The Skin I Live In" is a film about revenge, dedication, and passion as it follows the plastic surgeon Dr. Ledgard (Banderas) as he strives to create a stronger type of skin.
The visual scheme in this film is haunting, beautiful, and sometimes over the top, and only Almodóvar could blend all of these styles into a cohesive film. Some of the most striking imagery is between characters watching and interacting with other characters through surveillance screens (very similar to Almodóvar's previous film "Broken Embraces", but in this film it is taken to another level entirely).
After viewing the rather cryptic trailer for this film, I had no idea what to expect (but knew that I would see it simply upon knowing that Almodóvar had directed it). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the story before me on the silver screen was not only good drama or a great book-to-film adaptation, but that it was also (arguably) science fiction. With risky and ground-breaking scientific experimentation, "The Skin I Live In" fits into the science fiction genre while also crossing into noir-like territory. Being a thriller of sorts, "The Skin I Live In" features several twists and turns that are both shocking and incredibly relevant to the story.
As the cherry on top, the soundtrack for this film (composed by Alberto Iglesias) is amazing. With riveting and quick string movements, the intensity of the film is constantly building.
All of the performances in this film are magnificent (particularly from Banderas and Elena Anaya), and naturally this all goes back to the fantastic director Pedro Almodóvar. There is so much potential for audience-disbelief in this film, but the director drives this moderately absurd story with precision and artistry as every film should.

My ranking: 5/5 stars

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