NYFF: Pedro Almodóvar's "The Skin I Live In"

By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog October 12, 2011 at 5:17AM

Only Pedro Almodóvar circa 2011 could so effectively neuter an outré scenario like the one at the center of his new film, The Skin I Live In. Conscientious reviewers will feel the need to tiptoe around its major conceit similar to way the director does—but the more one talks around the film, the less one is likely to get out of it. Most of The Skin I Live In is structured with obfuscating tactics, which, as the plot wears on and its lines are more clearly drawn, only end up distracting from its central ideas. What could have been an inexorable, tragicomic study of a violently furious and genderless love instead becomes a pointless, meandering shell game played on the audience. So let the spoilers fly: unlike Almodóvar, I refuse to dance around The Skin I Live In, which in some alternate-reality cut could have been a touchingly tortured pas de deux rather than just a tortuous labyrinth. Read Michael Koresky's review of The Skin I Live In.
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Only Pedro Almodóvar circa 2011 could so effectively neuter an outré scenario like the one at the center of his new film, The Skin I Live In. Conscientious reviewers will feel the need to tiptoe around its major conceit similar to way the director does—but the more one talks around the film, the less one is likely to get out of it. Most of The Skin I Live In is structured with obfuscating tactics, which, as the plot wears on and its lines are more clearly drawn, only end up distracting from its central ideas. What could have been an inexorable, tragicomic study of a violently furious and genderless love instead becomes a pointless, meandering shell game played on the audience. So let the spoilers fly: unlike Almodóvar, I refuse to dance around The Skin I Live In, which in some alternate-reality cut could have been a touchingly tortured pas de deux rather than just a tortuous labyrinth. Read Michael Koresky's review of The Skin I Live In.