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The Skin I Live in (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

4.4 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) is a driven plastic surgeon haunted by personal tragedies. After many years of trial and error, he finally perfects a new skin – a shield which could have prevented the death of his wife in an accident years earlier. His latest “guinea pig” is a mysterious captive whose true identity masks a shocking mystery. The Skin I Live In is a masterful tale of secrets, obsession and revenge from Oscar-winning (Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Talk to Her, 2002) writer/director Pedro Almodovar.

Amazon.com

For his maiden voyage into horror, Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar leaves the gore behind for a plunge into truly disturbing territory. If he suggests more than he shows, the human body still takes center stage, starting with Toledo plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (a chillingly understated Antonio Banderas), who did his best to restore his wife to her former glory after a fiery car crash, only to have his efforts be in vain. Since then, he's concentrated on a skin substitute that repels damage. Like Dr. Frankenstein, he's a single-minded obsessive, and even his housekeeper, Marilia (Marisa Paredes), describes him as "crazy," but that doesn't dim her devotion to him any less. After tragedy reenters Ledgard's life, he finds the perfect subject on which to test out his superhuman skin. Almodóvar begins in the present before backtracking six years to explain how Vera (Elena Anaya) came to Ledgard's attention. Now, he keeps her locked in a room through which he observes her every move via surveillance cameras and one-way glass. At all times, she wears a surprisingly flattering body stocking in order to heal properly, and spends her days reading Alice Munro novels and making Louise Bourgeois-inspired sculptures until Marilia's hotheaded son drops by, at which point the household dynamics spin out of control. In adapting Thierry Jonquet's Tarantula, Almodóvar has embarked on his most perfectly controlled project. Like the lovely Vera, the film offers cool, attractive surfaces, but the secret behind the woman and the world she inhabits will chill you to the bone. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Q&A with Director Pedro Almodovar
On the Red Carpet: New York Premiere

Product Details

  • Actors: Blanca Suárez, Susi Sánchez, Elena Anaya, Concha Buika, Ana Mena
  • Directors: Pedro Almodovar, Pedro Almodóvar
  • Producers: Esther Garcia
  • Format: Blu-ray, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006KSAPV0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,283 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Skin I Live in (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 19, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
The most important thing I can tell you about Pedro Almodóvar's film, The Skin I Live In (original Spanish title: La piel que habito) is that you should avoid as much as possible knowing anything about it beyond the most basic setup before seeing it. This is one of those cases where spoilers truly can rob you of the full experience of a film. I say this as someone who went into the movie knowing little about it beyond the fact that Pedro Almodóvar directed it and that it had to do with a plastic surgeon obsessed with a mysterious female patient. And that really is the best way to see it.

Adapted from Thierry Jonquet's novel Tarantula (original French title: Mygale) by Pedro Almodóvar and his brother Agustín Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In is a complex and, as the background layers are peeled away through revelation, deeply disturbing and chilling film.

It begins in the present day where we see Robert Legard (Antonio Banderas), a prominent plastic surgeon and medical researcher who, because of the tragic death of his wife in a fiery auto accident several years earlier, is obsessed with creating a new kind of skin superior to the skin we're born with, one that is not only both tougher and more resistant to burning and injury but also heals quicker and with little to no scarring. In his mansion, Dr. Legard has a special patient under his private, personal care, a young woman named Vera (Elena Anaya), on whom he is trying his new skin out. Our first impression is that Vera is a burn victim that Legrand is caring for, but it quickly becomes clear that Vera is more prisoner than patient. But just who is Vera? And how did she come into Legrand's rather questionable 'care'? And why does she so strongly resemble Legrand's dead wife?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A fascinating and powerful departure for Almodovar, or perhaps more
accurately more an terrific hybrid of the best of his old and new.
This has the darker, more actively perversely disturbing and violent themes
of some of his early work like 'Matador' but shot and directed with the
far smoother and more mature hand he has developed over the years. It
also uses the more complex and fractured time structure style of
Almodovar's more recent work, to great effect.

In the end it's a gorgeous looking, philosophically complex mystery and
horror film. Although not gory, this is a disturbing work, both on a
literal story level, and also for the questions it raises about sexual and personal
identity, love, sado-masochism, and passion run amok.

These themes are all Almodovar touchstones, but delivered here with a
visually stunning icy touch, and with much more complete logic than in
his early works, which often felt less fully thought through, and had
more frustrating plot holes and character leaps.

Not a 'scary' film, but a creepy, moody and highly effective one. A
dark fairy tale as told by, say Stanley Kubrick.

It's good to see Antonio Banderas reunited with Almodovar, and he
delivers a wonderfully complex and quirky modern day Dr. Frankenstein.

Less emotional than my two very favorite Almodovar films (Talk to Her,
All About My Mother), but its exciting to see this extremely talented
film maker continue to evolve and grow, and I think this represents
work that can stand among his best.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I bought this movie sight unseen because I like Banderas and Elena Anaya, neither one disappoints. Anaya is pretty much the perfect woman physically (I've never met her) and Banderas is handsome of course and has an intensity about his acting that transcends nationalities. This was a tighter, more stylish film than I thought it would be.
At first I dismissed it as another Human Centipede kind of movie but it is far far better than that. A sleek, sophisticated, stylish thriller.
Sure there's a lot of violence and nudity and shocking moments but it's also a very cool movie and I had no problems watching the characters interact or understanding their intentions.
The director/writer is brilliant and never mind what anyone says about the film being disturbing because it's genius and one of the most original thrillers I've seen in a long long time.
I would equate this more with David Cronenberg's The Fly and Dead Ringers (two films I love) than with anything else. It's main theme of transformation and experimentation resides within both of those films as well, I just wonder what Vera's life would be like after the credits roll. It would be great to see a sequel to this or even a trilogy like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which is another disturbingly-beautiful film I would equate this with, but only if the director remained and only if Elena Anaya would continue her role and if the standards of quality both in directing and in writing would not diminish....
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Format: DVD
As a movie to watch on Halloween I couldn't have chosen a better DVD. Pedro Almodóvar's film, The Skin I Live In (we watched the original Spanish version La piel que habito, with excellent English sub-titles) is a movie that proves the power of the imagination is far more chilling and intense than any graphic or gratuitous violence can ever be.

It's impossible to review the movie without giving away too much of the complex and clever plot and it's that which keeps you breathless throughout the whole 115 minutes. All the cast presented superb performances, from the brutal Zeca (Roberto Álamo) to the foolish Vincente (Jan Cornet), from the blindly loyal Marilia (Marisa Paredes) to the haunted Vera(Elena Anaya).

However, it was the commanding performance of Antonio Banderas as prominent surgeon and researcher Dr Robert Legard who played a pivotal role. In the hands of a lesser actor, the labyrinthine torment that motivated Legard's actions could easily have become parody; Banderas played the role to perfection.

Although Almodóvar kept the tension high right until the penultimate scene, the final scene was less satisfying than the rest of the film demanded, although I'm sure many viewers will be perfectly satisfied with it. If Banderas' performance of Legard had not been so immaculate, I may have been satisfied with the ending but, as it is, the complexities of love and desire which were explored in the final stages of the relationship between Legard and Vera had too-convenient a resolution.

Still, it was a strong enough ending to keep the movie a 5* viewing experience that is both thought-provoking and powerful. And far too scary, even for Halloween!
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