By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 28, 2011 at 12:10PM
Aside from a series of increasingly creepy stills not much is known about Pedro Almodóvar‘s “The Skin I Live In” except that it's based on a pretty intense book by crime novelist Thierry Jonque‘s 2005 book, “Tarantula.” The film has a competition slot at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival and with buzz continuing to build, Sony Pictures Classics set the film a rather plum and perhaps Oscar baiting release in November (an exact date hasn't been specified).
The film stars Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, Roberto Alamo, Blanca Suárez, Eduard Fernández, José Luis Gómez, Bárbara Lennie, Susi Sánchez, Fernando Cayo and Teresa Manresa. Longtime collaborators such as composer Alberto Iglesias, DoP Jose Luis Alcaine and editor José Salcedo are once again in the mix behind the scenes for a film that is shaping up to be unlike anything we've seen from Almodóvar. Here's the synopsis which is pretty outrageous:
Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful accomplice. And as for the human guinea pig…
Meanwhile, Jeff Nichols' sophomore feature effort is likely to get to a big boost of attention thanks to the presence of the new General Zod and "Boardwalk Empire" showstopper Michael Shannon. The film actually marks their second collaboration together -- the first being the outstanding and criminally underseen "Shotgun Stories" -- and it will be interesting to see the results of their latest venture. Co-starring Jessica Chastain ("The Tree Of Life," "The Help"), the film follows a small town man who becomes consumed by the idea that the apocalypse is coming. Our man at Sundance loved the film, calling it a naturalistic, novelistic portrayal of madness.
The film will begin rolling out to theaters on October 7th, but before that, it will hit Cannes playing as part of the Critics Week sidebar. Official synopsis below:
Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.
Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and six–year-old daughter Hannah, who is deaf. Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand mining company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mother and part-time seamstress who suplements their income by selling handmade wares at the flea market each weekend. Money is tight, and navigating Hannah’s healthcare and special needs education is a constant struggle. Despite that, Curtis and Samantha are very much in love and their family is a happy one.
Then Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm. He chooses to keep the disturbance to himself, channeling his anxiety into the obsessive building of a storm shelter in their backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds Samantha, and provokes intolerance among co-workers, friends and neighbors. But the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within the community doesn’t compare to Curtis’s privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify.
Faced with the doomed proposition that his disturbing visions signal disaster of one kind or another, Curtis confides in Samantha, testing the power of their bond against the highest possible stakes.