User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 94
  2. Negative: 1 out of 94
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  1. Dec 31, 2011
    9
    I can not explain, that strangest movie, fascinating mind traps you until the last minute. great the soundtrack was one of the key parts that will make this film a gem. Almadovar wow, you know making movies shocking.
  2. Nov 28, 2011
    9
    I can deal with the users' average mark of 8/10, but I honestly am appalled by so-called professional critics giving it only an average of 7. This film is absolutely brilliant; admittedly the story is insanely dark and twisted, but it's so good. Ayana is rife with emotions and pulls off a great performance, Banderas does a wonderful (and understated) job as one of his most disturbingI can deal with the users' average mark of 8/10, but I honestly am appalled by so-called professional critics giving it only an average of 7. This film is absolutely brilliant; admittedly the story is insanely dark and twisted, but it's so good. Ayana is rife with emotions and pulls off a great performance, Banderas does a wonderful (and understated) job as one of his most disturbing roles; music, set design, camera work, everything make this film a great Almodovar flick once again. Expand
  3. Dec 22, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Alicia menstruated. She needs to be cleaned up, down there. First, soapy water gets wringed from a rag, and then, it's a quick spritz from the water bottle, which sanitizes the vaginal expanse from the discharge of period blood with an antiseptic wiping, courtesy of two health care professionals. The female nurse uses gloves; the male nurse, we notice, uses his bare hands on the comatose patient. Although her flesh is often exposed, a woman's erogenous zones, in the context of the hospital, goes through a de-eroticization process, due to the specter of death, but nevertheless, the former dancer, we can plainly see, was a real heartbreaker, so her sexual allure is merely frozen, not lost. Supposedly, Alicia's breasts have turned quotidian, just another part that comprises the female anatomy, breasts stilled by her soporific state, no longer having to endure the crux of objectification, so nobody minds that Benigno(presumed gay) touches Alicia without a latex buffer. Needless to say, in the aftermath of the nurse's fireable offense, the rapist pulled a Jack Tripper on the whole hospital staff. When Benigno touches the vegetative body, it's with latent sexual desire; it's not rote clinical labor, because the benign psychopath impregnates his unconscious charge. But since Alicia's miscarriage results in her awakening, the rapist becomes a hero(in the filmmaker's eyes), and therefore pardoned of his crime. Obscured by the filmmaker's obvious affection for Benigno, is the fact that "Talk to Her", and not just "The Skin I Live In", is actually a horror movie, too, in the human sense, akin to "Straw Dogs". The controversial Sam Peckinpah film presents rape as a collaboration between a sexy woman and a helpless man. Amy Sumner, a mathematician's wife, walks confidently down a busy Cornwall street, braless, with her hard nipples poking through a white blouse, in full view of the menfolk. She's responsible for her own rape, the filmmaker is saying, due to her provocative attire. Worse yet, in "Talk to Her", Alicia has no say in what she wears(a flimsy off-white hospital gown), but gets raped anyway by the male nurse, since men are powerless to the female form, therefore, can't be held accountable for their actions. In the film-within-the-film, a black-and-white one-reeler, a man shrinks to the size of a figurine after downing some potion concocted by his lover, a scientist. Sharing a bed, the man pulls off the covers, revealing the woman's nude body, a landscape, and while she's sound asleep, he walks into her vagina. The orifice recalls the portal in Spike Jonze's "Being John Malkovich", especially near the end where puppeteer Craig Schwartz(John Cusack) ends up, not in the famous actor, but in the consciousness of a small girl, where he is doomed to live life through her eyes, without the benefit of puppet strings to exhort his will on the body and mind. Similarly, the nurse is a puppeteer himself in that Alicia can't move without his prompting. Visibly affected by the film, Benigno says, "And Alfredo stays in her forever," in a melancholic voice, because he knows that his time with the beautiful dancer is strictly circumstantial. Like Craig, the nurse imagines himself living vicariously through somebody else, but instead of taking up occupation in the person's brain, his projected counterpart lives in a vagina, doomed to witness man after man sexually pleasing the woman he loves. "Being John Malkovich" could easily have been directed by this filmmaker, since the 1999 "head movie" deals with sexual identity(and rape) in the same audacious manner, informing not only the sexual mores surrounding "Talk to Her", but "The Skin I Live In", as well. If you lined up the seemingly asexual Benigno alongside the masculine-looking Dr. Robert Ledgard, most people would peg the former as being gay. The manner in which Robert stares at the closed-circuit television feed of his prisoner would seem to confirm his heterosexuality. The mad doctor, however, is a freak; he's the inverse of Maxine, who says, "Behind the too-prominent brow and male pattern baldness, I sensed your feminine longing," to Lotte, lurking behind the famous actor's facade, as they f*ck. Maxine loves her, "but only when [she's] in Malkovich," whereas Robert doesn't yearn for his dead wife, but instead, the man who raped his daughter. When the geneticist forces himself on Vera(who is the spitting image of Gal), he express his latent homosexuality without giving anything away, since Vincente, is, from head to toe, all woman, save for the brain, the same place, by the way, where Craig ends up. At least Vincente gets to be his own puppet master, albeit it's a small consolation for "Being Gal Cruz". In the end, Maxine realizes that she can love Lotte without Malkovich serving as a conduit for her heart, whereas Dr. Ledgard dies before coming to terms with his unresolved feelings for dudes. Expand
  4. Jan 21, 2012
    10
    www.unsungfilms.com by Georgia Xanthopoulou
    I attended a lecture a while ago about Almodovar and his work. It was a very interesting group of people talking, from a Spanish professor talking about the â
  5. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    I have to admit This is the first Almodóvar movie I've ever watched, I generally don't stand watching movies in spanish but ever since I watched Pan's Labyrinth, I give some of them a try, and I don't regret giving this one a try. This movie might not be a masterpiece, but I'd like to give more than a 9 just because this movie made an impact on me, it is a movie that I knowI have to admit This is the first Almodóvar movie I've ever watched, I generally don't stand watching movies in spanish but ever since I watched Pan's Labyrinth, I give some of them a try, and I don't regret giving this one a try. This movie might not be a masterpiece, but I'd like to give more than a 9 just because this movie made an impact on me, it is a movie that I know will stay in my memory forever, maybe in a creepy way, and that is why I give a freaking 10. Expand
  6. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    Classic Pedro Almodovar is back! The Skin I Live In is my favorite film of 2011, having been the only film to keep me smiling for the entire time --- either with its quirk, naughtiness, and over-the-top kitsch, or its very Spanish and clever script. I have not enjoyed an Almodovar film this much since High Heels.
  7. Jan 22, 2012
    9
    Well, first when i wanted to see this film, according to the critics and the awards which this movie has won, i was sure that i'm going to see a good film, but at the end i was really shocked by how great and fantastic it was, the actors are brilliant, story is interesting, almost unique, the characters are believable, and the ending is different. Great Movie.
  8. Mar 7, 2012
    9
    This is one of the best movies I've watched in a long time, I'm not going to spoil anything to you I'll just say go and watch it if you have a chance, don't be put off by the first half of the movie, it gets good, really good, the plot twist is just astonishing and very well written, you won't regret it.
  9. Abi
    Feb 14, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers. This movie is beautiful, deranged, horrific, moving, thoughtful, and twisted. Every time I think of this movie I get goosebumps. The movie begins with a brilliant plastic surgeon trying to find a cure to perfect skin after his wife was burned in a car accident. He keeps a beautiful woman locked away in his mansion in which he experiments on. The plastic surgeons maid's (who has cared for him his whole life) son shows up and rapes the woman thinking that it his the plastic surgeons wife. Walking in on the act, the plastic surgeon shoots the son and kills him. Witnessing the rape reminds him of the fate of his daughter some years ago when she was raped at a party, causing her to become mental. The plastic surgeon kidnaps the rapist and locks him in a cell for weeks. After some time of being locked away, he takes him into his mansion where he preforms a sex change on the rapist. The rapist therefore is the woman that he his also experimenting on. He engages in sexual activity with "her", making "her" feel the pain that "she" put his daughter through. He decides to let "her" go, but "she" comes back a day later and they engage in more sexual activity. "She" ends up killing both him and the maid in the end, then leaves to return to "her" family. Collapse
  10. Mar 4, 2013
    9
    This movie it's just not obvious. It's always happening something that we just don't expect to happen. A typical Almodóvar portrait of his imaginary society.
  11. Feb 16, 2014
    9
    One of the more stunning films I've seen in a while. This is a brand of horror unlike most -- defined not so much by 'scares' (there aren't really any in the traditional sense), but more so by it's unflinching ability to 'disturb.'
    Built around a great screenplay which admittedly remains rather difficult to completely grasp for a large portion of the film, the awesome cast - carried by
    One of the more stunning films I've seen in a while. This is a brand of horror unlike most -- defined not so much by 'scares' (there aren't really any in the traditional sense), but more so by it's unflinching ability to 'disturb.'
    Built around a great screenplay which admittedly remains rather difficult to completely grasp for a large portion of the film, the awesome cast - carried by Antonio Banderas' creepy charisma as well as a stand-out (brilliant) performance by Elena Anaya - pushes through the unpredictable twists perfectly.
    By the end, the fogginess gives way and clarity prevails as the plot slowly lines itself up in perfect time.

    This is a film that will (should) have you feeling uneasy throughout and beyond. Rather brilliantly, the film (under Pedro Almodovar's fantastic direction) causes the viewer to reflect inwardly -- values are turned upside down, morality is twisted into incomprehension, and the ability to form solid opinions of the primary characters remains rather elusive.

    Definitely a film that bolsters the reality of film as an art-form (emphasis on the ART). Oh yeah, and it's in Spanish for those unaware.
    Expand
  12. Mar 7, 2015
    10
    This is a one of a kind movie. Pedro Almodóvar goes to a place that no other director ever dared to. When the plot twist kicks in you'll be mindblown forever. For better or for worse, you will NEVER forget this masterpiece of a movie.
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 9, 2011
    63
    There's plenty of melodrama, plenty of whispered intensity, plenty of dramatic pauses in his story. There also are a few bizarro -- and, in some cases, unnecessary -- detours. But when it's all said and done, there's no real call for any emotional investment on the part of his audience.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 30, 2011
    58
    Almodóvar dives into perversity, practically daring the audience not to follow. The Skin I Live In is a mediocre addition to his resume, yet for fans, even bad Almodóvar is better than none at all.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    While Banderas' dark intensity overshadows the potential poignancy of the story, Almodovar is such a skilled surgeon that he extracts a juicy nugget of pleasure from a purely distasteful premise.