Master of Perversity

Review: The Skin I Live In opens at the Odeon Fri, Nov. 25

Antonio Banderas stars in The Skin I live In, opening Fri, Nov. 25 at the Odeon.

Antonio Banderas stars in The Skin I live In, opening Fri, Nov. 25 at the Odeon.

Spain’s bad-boy-turned-Oscar-darling Pedro Almodovar (All About My Mother) has been getting surprisingly good press for his latest film, The Skin I Live In. Surprisingly, only because the reliably outrageous and witty director has delivered a film so preposterous and grotesque that even all that famous Almodovar style can’t obscure its essential pointlessness. Imagine a mash-up of Boxing Helena and The Abominable Dr. Phibes as directed by David Cronenberg pretending to be schlockmeister Roger Corman and you get the merest idea of what Almodovar is up to.

He’s once again reunited with Antonio Banderas, who stars as Dr. Robert Ledgard, a famed plastic surgeon who has gradually morphed into a mad scientist after his beloved wife was burned unrecognizably in a car crash years earlier. This not-so-good doctor has been illegally using human-animal gene splicing to create a “superskin” in the lab in his mansion. The guinea pig for these experiments is a gorgeous woman who is mysteriously kept prisoner in Ledgard’s house. And that’s just the start of this never-dull film, which also includes for your viewing pleasure a home invasion, two rapes, and what I assume is the first vaginoplasty operation to be featured at the cineplex.

As medical horror stories go, this one generates more laughs than chills. Still, from the soundtrack to the set design, Skin is a gorgeous piece of filmmaking. And Almodovar does pull a sly doozy of a trick on the audience before the last scalpel – and bullet – finds its target. You’ve been warned!

 

The Skin I live in ★★½

Directed by Pedro Almodovar

Starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya

R – 117 minutes

Opens Friday at the Odeon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

Most Read