The Skin I Live In (Almodovar, 2011): Film4 Summer Screen, Somerset House, 9.15pm
This is the UK premiere of Almodovar's latest work which was the subject of resoundingly positive reports at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
'The less said about the story, the better, as it’s built on slow revelations and quick surprises. ‘The Skin I Live In’ is rooted in pain and loss, which pulls the film’s more melodramatic side into a more thoughtful, provocative place than its surface suggests. It begins in Toledo in 2012, and Robert is a successful surgeon who lectures on the possibilities of genetic skin transformation and transplants. At his stylish villa, he lives with a loyal female housekeeper, Marilia (Marisa Paredes), and locked in an airy room at the top of his house is a beautiful young woman, Vera (Elena Anaya), who we first meet dressed up to her neck in a tight, flesh-coloured body suit. After ‘Broken Embraces’, ‘The Skin I Live In’ continues Almodóvar’s journey into darker, more sombre storytelling and into more upscale and interior worlds. Again, too, he chills his palette, rejecting the brighter colours of old for something more maudlin and steely. There are flashes of humour, usually of the nervous kind. Mostly, though, this plays as a psychosexual thriller whose wild events and plot turns are anchored soberly in both Almodóvar’s meticulous direction and a performance from Banderas that swerves the more maniacal aspects of his character to offer an intensely controlled, deadly charming screen presence.' Dave Calhoun
Here is the trailer