La piel que habito – The Skin I Live In

This is without doubt a Pedro Almodóvar film – it has the recognisable traits of his films (emotionally unstable women, brilliantly atmospheric music, spots of red amid a restrained colour palette), and absolutely attacks the senses.  It will make you laugh, then gasp in amazement in rapid succession.  In other words, if you’re not already an Almodóvar fan, this won’t win you over.

But I am a fan, and I was absolutely enthralled.

The Skin I Live In is nearer in tone to All About My Mother or Broken Embraces than the Women On The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown style of  Almodóvar’s earlier films.  Antonio Banderas, clearly more comfortable and versatile in his native language, is the epitome of reined-in intensity, and should do much more work in Spanish.  He looks darn good, too!

Naturally, there’s a twist in the story, which makes it impossible to really comment on the plot – but it’s a stylish thriller, deftly executed.

One of my top films this year.

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