Next up is the latest film from Spanish master Pedro Almodovar, "The Skin I Live In," which I’ve had the chance to see because it opened in Los Angeles, but Ignatiy here in Chicago has not sadly, so you get my review. Antonio Banderas made his name starring in Almodovar movies, and he teams up with the director for the first time in two decades, playing a renowned plastic surgeon trying to create a stronger kind of skin. He takes captive a young woman named Vera as his guinea pig.
Almodovar frequently uses flashbacks to flesh out -- if you will -- his characters' stories. One of these follows a fateful encounter between the doctor's teenage daughter and a young man she meets at a party.
Back in the present day, the doctor's test subject -- played by the beautiful Elena Anaya -- eventually surrenders and learns to embrace her new life.
"The Skin I Live In" takes an awfully long time to set up the tortured histories and intertwined relationships that are the basis for the film's big, shocking climax. By the time that comes, this feels almost like a parody of an Almodovar movie, with its melodramatic tone and themes of gender, identity, sex and revenge. It's shot beautifully and features impeccable production design. But it might almost be too pristine visually, even as it feels messy from a narrative standpoint. A rare miss from Almodovar -- thumbs down from me.