The Skin I Live In

August 17, 2011 0 By Fans
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Still of Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya in The Skin I Live InStill of Pedro Almodóvar and Elena Anaya in The Skin I Live InMarisa Paredes at event of The Skin I Live InStill of Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar in The Skin I Live InStill of Antonio Banderas in The Skin I Live InStill of Marisa Paredes and Elena Anaya in The Skin I Live In


A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 7.7/10 (24,473 voted)

Critic's Score: 70/100

Pedro Almodóvar

Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet

In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget.

Writers: Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar


Antonio Banderas

Robert Ledgard

Elena Anaya

Vera Cruz

Marisa Paredes


Jan Cornet


Roberto Álamo


Eduard Fernández


José Luis Gómez

Presidente del Instituto de Biotecnología

Blanca Suárez

Norma Ledgard

Susi Sánchez

Madre de Vicente

Bárbara Lennie


Fernando Cayo


Chema Ruiz

Guardia civil



(as Concha Buika)

Ana Mena


Teresa Manresa



Official Website:
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Release Date: 17 August 2011

Filming Locations: A Estrada, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Box Office Details

Budget: $13,000,000


Opening Weekend: €558,002
(25 September 2011)
(280 Screens)

Gross: $5,774,854
(9 October 2011)

Technical Specs



Factual errors:
When a surgeon removes a rubber glove from its packing before surgery, he tries to keep the outside surface (the one that would be in contact with the patient) sterile. This prevents the contamination of incisions with germs in surgical interventions. However, he touches this sterile surface with his bare finger, contaminating the glove; at this point this glove should have been discarded instead of being used.


Clothes make me feel claustrophobic. I wish I could stay naked all the time.

User Review

The impossible film to pitch. Horror at it's best.

Rating: 10/10

"The Skin I Live In" is, like most films by the Spanish director a film
that cannot be pitched or explained in a few sentences. I am reminded
of his superb work in "Talk to her" and "All about my mother". "Talk to
her" was a love story between a woman in a coma and her rapist while
Mother was a film about a nun with AIDS, a transvestite with a hearth
of gold and a woman searching for her son's heart. In one sentence
Almodovar's films all sound twisted at best. But in the hands of a
master they are beautiful works of art. Same goes for "The Skin I Live
In". In a sentence (like many who haven't watched the film are quick to
point out) the film sounds creepy at best and deals with a plot that
makes most uncomfortable.

A plastic surgeon (Banderas) belongs to family straight out of
Pasolini's Salo. He keeps a beautiful woman (Anaya) as a guinea pig and
he tries to create a new kind of skin. But Anaya's character, in what
seems the major metaphor of the film, preserves her inner persona
intact regardless of what happens to her body. As in most of
Almodovar's films the layers become more complex as the movie evolves
and towards the end of the film there's a plot twist only Freud could
have come up with.

Without spoilers I would like to point out that the director seems to
use horror as a channel to explore the violation of every moral code
embodied by the characters. With a magnificent score by Alberto
Iglesias, Almodovar tries for a difficult genre and it pays off. The
set design and cinematography, as always with Pedro's films is superb.
At Canes the reception of the film was mixed an I can understand why.
It simply isn't an easy movie to watch. For those who don't seem to
have a problem with American horror movies where teens are stalked,
raped and cut into little pieces by a chainsaw but are horrified by
"The Skin I live In" I have a suggestion: Let's remember that fiction
is indeed the only place when one can deal with horror and gore as
metaphors for our human flaws, a place where we don't have to hide from
our demons but we get to talk to them, a place where sickness gets no
one hurt… Like Hitchcock used to say: It is only a movie, dear.