Even if his latest film "La piel que habito" still bears his signature style as well as familiar topics and situations. But as with "Los abrazos rotos", he fails to make the film emotionally engaging. The story of a plastic surgeon that starts experimenting with skin grafting after the death of his wife is well constructed but the characters remain shallow. The film also shifts too much between serious drama, thriller and horror. Almodóvar's fondness for the eccentric - some would say the perverse - is once again on display. His hardcore fans might like it, other viewers will find it distasteful. But then, this seeming contraction between beautiful images and disturbing content has always been a trademark of Almodóvar's cinema and a large part of its fascination.
"La piel que habito" is - despite the nods to Georges Franju - a unique work from a unique director but it has the same problem that fake skin has: it might look nice but it is just not the real thing.
|Eyes without a face: "The Skin I live in"|