The Skin I Live In | 2011 | R | - 9.8.5
A gifted plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas) develops a synthetic skin that will withstand any kind of damage. He slowly becomes obsessed with his experimental subject (Alena Anaya), a mysterious woman who holds the key to the doctor's success and happiness. Also with Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet and Roberto Alamo. Directed by Pedro Almodovar. In Spanish with English subtitles (original title: "La Piel Que Habito"). [1:57]
- During a graphic rape scene we see a man actively engaged in thrusting on top of a woman (his bare back and her bare breasts are visible): the woman screams in pain and struggles against the man, he man makes a crude remark about the size of his genitals as he climaxes, and in a different room we see an older woman (the man's mother) with her hands tied to a chair and forced to watch the act over CCTV while another man interrupts the rape, watches as the man climaxes and looks disgusted (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
► A nude woman (her bare breasts are visible) and a presumably nude man (his bare chest is visible) are seen in bed with a blanket covering their genitals: they kiss passionately, the man rubs, bites and kisses the woman's breasts and climbs on top of her, the woman winces in pain and stops the man, explaining that another man (who had violently raped her) had "really messed her up" and her genitals were sore; she promises sex with the man the next night.
► A man and a woman kiss passionately, the man gropes the woman's bare breasts and we see his bare back: the woman moans in pain as the man mounts her, the man asks the woman if she was using a dilator to make her surgically altered genitals larger, he then offers "to have it from behind," the woman says she will look for a sexual lubricant and we see her pull a robe over her bare buttocks as she gets out of bed; the man's bare chest is visible as the woman re-enters the room and he makes a sexual comment.
► A young man and a teen girl kiss passionately, they recline on the ground in a garden, we see the young man pull down the teen girl's dress (her bare breasts are visible), he kisses her chest and neck as he pulls down her underwear (her genitals are covered by the skirt of her dress) and slightly pulls down his pants (a small portion of his bare buttocks is visible); he begins to pant and thrust as the teen girl tells him to stop, she screams until the young man shoves his hand in her mouth and then slaps her so hard that she is knocked unconscious (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) and the young man then pulls the teen girl's slip and dress back on, groping one of her breasts as he readjusts her clothing.
► A man hears the moaning sounds of sex and walks into a garden where multiple young men and teen girls are engaged in various sexual activities: We see a teen girl performing oral sex on a young man as another young man has sex with her from behind, actively thrusting (no nudity is visible); another teen girl is seen performing oral sex on a young man (no nudity is visible); and a young man and a young woman are seen lying on the ground with the young man thrusting on top of the young woman (no nudity is visible).
► A man forces himself on top of a woman who is wearing a flesh-colored bodysuit, he rips off the chest of the bodysuit, gropes the woman's breasts and forcefully licks and kisses the woman's face as she tries to pull away; the man lifts up the woman and crudely tells her they are going to have intercourse and carries her away (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
► A woman gets very close to a man, she opens her mouth next to his mouth, they are about to kiss and the man pulls away; the woman asks the man if he is sexually interested in her and he ignores her advances.
► A man watches a CCTV of a woman wearing a flesh-colored bodysuit and he licks the television in a sexual manner as his mother watches in horror. A man watches a giant television with the CCTV of a woman (we see the woman's bare buttocks), he rushes into the room where the woman is lying and we see small shallow cuts covering her body and her bare breasts, torso, back and buttocks as the man lifts her up and carries her away (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
► A fully nude man is seen lying in bed (the lower half of his body is covered by a blanket), a woman enters the room with her shirt partially unbuttoned and we see a portion of her bare breasts as she bends over; the man's bare buttocks are seen in profile as he lies on the bed.
► A man cups the breasts of a woman, remarking on their shape. An anatomically correct headless female mannequin is seen on a gurney (we see the clearly defined female genitalia and bare breasts) and a man inspects the mannequin, including resting his hand on one of the breasts.
► A man pulls down his tight spandex pants, we see his bare buttocks as he exposes it to a CCTV that an older woman watches and she laughs. A man's bare chest is visible as he is strapped to an operating table. A shirtless boy is seen and his bare back and chest are visible. A man is seen held captive wearing only a T-shirt and brief-style underwear. We see a portion of a woman's bare back as she pulls on a bodysuit. Throughout the movie we see a woman wearing a flesh-colored bodysuit that makes her appear almost nude. Throughout the movie we see artwork in a man's house, including a massive painting of two nude women with their bare breasts visible, and a painting of a nude woman with her bare breasts visible reclined next to the nude body of a man with his bare chest visible and genitals covered by a small piece of cloth.
► A man stands on a chair and opens his robe at his waist, looking at the reflection in the mirror; we see no nudity but it is implied that the man sees that he now has female genitalia, and he gets down from the chair as another man enters the room and remarks about the man's female genitalia.
► A man is seen in a gynecological examination chair with his legs propped apart as another man looks under an examination cloth around the man's waist; the man makes a remark about the man's new genitals being female.
► A man tells another man that he will have to use expanders to ensure his new female genitalia heals properly and we see the man place progressively larger phallic-shaped dilators on a table. A man teases a woman for not being sexually interested in men, especially him, and offers her a pill to get her sexually excited.
► A man confronts another man about raping his daughter and the man claims that it was not against the teen girl's will. Two men discuss gender reassignment surgery in graphic detail; one man tells the other that he had performed gender reassignment surgery on a young man and that he now performs in "porn movies." An older woman tells a woman that she had given birth to two sons and that one was taken from her and passed off as the legitimate son of the man she was having an affair with, since his wife was barren. When trying to sell his wife's clothing to a consignment store, a man tells the woman behind the counter that if his wife returns and tries to leave him again, she will have to leave naked, because he has sold all of her clothes. A teen girl takes off her sweater and playfully tells a young man that she could "go naked all the time"; the young man responds that he will leave the teen girl naked.
► Men and women dance at a wedding, and we see a man lift up a woman and spin her around. A teen girl and a young man walk hand in hand.
- A man shoots another man who is raping a woman (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details): we hear two gunshots and see blood spray and coat the abdomen of the woman as she rolls the deceased, bloody man off her. A woman shoots a man (blood appears on his chest) and he clutches his chest and slumps over; the gunshot startles a woman in another room, she goes to investigate, carrying a handgun, she walks into a bedroom and discovers a man draped over the side of a bed with blood pooling on the floor under him. A woman shoots another woman: she falls to the floor and blood comes from behind her.
► A woman draws a large kitchen knife across her own neck, blood pours from the wound and she collapses; a man scoops her up, carries her away, we see him stitching up the bloody wound and the woman is later seen fully recovered.
► A woman kicks open a door, knocking a man to the ground, she tries to run away, the man grabs her foot and drags himself on top of her, he kisses her passionately, the woman struggles to free herself, and the man is seen raping the woman moments later (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details).
► While sexually forcing himself on a teenage girl (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) a young man shoves his hand in the teen girl's mouth when she starts to scream, and he strikes her in the mouth so hard that she is knocked unconscious; the young man gets off her and runs away.
► A man riding a motorcycle is driven off the road by a van, the van taps the motorcycle, causing the rider to temporarily lose control, the van runs the motorcycle off the road, the rider flips off the bike and rolls down an embankment, the driver of the van gets out holding a gun, the motorcyclist asks the man not to shoot him, and the man shoots him with a tranquilizer gun (no blood is visible); the man is later seen waking up, chained to a stone wall.
► A woman holds her adult son at gunpoint, telling him that he has to leave; he grabs her, causing a shot to be fired, he places her in a chokehold, she struggles and moments later we see her tied to a chair and gagged. A man threatens his mother, saying that he will kill her if she screams when he removes a gag from her mouth; he removes the gag, the woman gasps for air and he shoves the rag back into her mouth. A man forces his way through a doorway against the objections of his mother.
► A woman elbows a man in the crotch, runs away and locks the man in the room behind her; the man gets up and chases the woman; she is holding a large kitchen knife and shouts at the man.
► A woman disfigured by scars is seen lying next to a screaming girl while another woman's voice explains that the woman had leapt from a window to her death (no blood is visible and the woman appears unharmed as her young daughter screams and looks at her deceased body). A woman is seen lying unconscious in a bed with her body covered in gauze while the voice of another woman describes how a man would sit by the burned woman's side because he liked the smell of burnt flesh; the woman is later seen awake, her face and arms disfigured by scars and she screams in horror when she sees her own reflection.
► A man discovers a fully nude woman (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) with small, shallow cuts covering her bare breasts, torso and arms; blood is seen coming from these multiple cuts and the woman appears to be unconscious, and the man says to the woman, as he cleans the wounds, that she did not really want to kill herself since she would have cut her jugular if she had wanted to kill herself.
► A bound man wakes up after being shot with a tranquilizer dart, and he panics and shouts as he tries to rip the chains from his ankles and hands unsuccessfully; the man is seen getting gradually filthier, implying that he was left alone for an extended period, he drinks from a bucket like an animal, another man hoses him off (we see his underwear covered in dirt and possibly feces) and the chained up man shouts saying that he is starving.
► A man, his arms in shackles, shakes as another man uses a straight edge razor to shave his face; the man tells the shackled man that he had buried his daughter that day, he puts a small towel over the man's nose, we hear a muffled shout and the man passes out (we later see the man awaken while strapped to a gurney).
► A man dumps two blankets soaked with blood into a fire as two women watch; one woman asks if the man had buried the body of a murdered man or not and the man reassures her that the body was "taken care of" and "buried deep." An older woman strips blood-soaked sheets off a bed as another woman watches and we later see the mattress with blood splotches on it.
► As a man gives a lecture to an audience about burn victims being helped through facial transplants, we see computer generated animations of human faces; a man's face with a collapsed nose and cheekbones, a face cut away and another face laid on top of it, and a portion of a face being cut and placed onto a disfigured face. A man extracts blood from a transfusion bag filled with blood, we see blood squirt onto a microscope slide and we see the enlarged cells as the man looks through the microscope. A woman hands a man a jug of blood, and she tells the man that it had come from a "still living animal." On multiple occasions we see Petri dishes filled with cells and a man is using test tubes to test blood by putting blood into tubes and inspecting it.
► A man asks a woman to tell him when she could feel the head of a small hand-held torch as he tries to burn her skin and after a few seconds the woman yelps and says she can feel the heat. A woman is seen with small scars covering her body, and it appears that her skin has been quilted onto her body; a man lays a thin piece of synthetic skin on top of scar tissue on her neck, and tells her that her burn scars will no longer be visible.
► A teen girl's father discovers her lying unconscious in a garden, he grabs the girl and she screams as the man rocks her to calm her; we later see the man visit the teen girl in a mental hospital and she appears catatonic, she screams and we hear that she believes that her father had raped her, rather than just finding her after she had been raped.
► A man wakes up after experiencing a flashback of him waking up his daughter in a garden after she had been raped and the man sweats and breathes heavily in a panic.
► A man awakens from a surgery forcefully performed on him by a man who kidnapped him; the kidnapper tells the man that he had successfully performed gender transition surgery on him and we see an IV sticking out of the man's arm.
► A man accuses another man of kidnapping a young man, holding him against his will and performing gender reassignment surgery on him; the man grows angry and draws a gun (the argument is interrupted). A man asks another man to explain the synthetic skin he had created, the man describes it as a combination of pig skin and human skin cells, the first man condemns the other man, saying that combining the two cells is illegal and he would report the man. A man accuses another man of using humans for experimentation and not using mice as he had told everyone. As a man and his mother watch TV news, we see the man in surveillance footage as a reporter announces that the man had been recorded while breaking into a jewelry store; the woman looks shamefully at her son and he becomes angered and shouts at his mother.
► A man tells an older man that his wife had been severely burned in a car accident and later died as a result of her scars. A man asks a woman how she had survived a fire, saying that he had "left her burning like a torch." An older woman warns a man that he has to kill a woman or she will kill her. A woman explains to another woman that a man's wife had run away with his half-brother, that they had gotten into a car accident and the woman had almost been burned to death but was rescued (we see a flashback of a burning car; no body is visible in the car). A woman tells another woman that she was a man who had been kidnapped and forced into gender reassignment surgery and held against her will and that she had been forced to murder two people in order to escape. An older woman tells her adult son that a man would give a lethal injection on the man if he saw him, and the man gets angry and threatens to kidnap a woman in order to force him to perform the plastic surgery procedure on him. A man shouts in angry whispers at an older woman. An older woman shouts at her adult son. An older woman packs a gun into her handbag as she warns a man that another woman could "take off," and the man reassures the woman, saying that the other woman will not run away. A police officer tells a woman that her son is presumed dead after finding his motorcycle smashed against sea rocks; the woman pleads for the police officer to continue looking for him since his body was not found. During a lecture, a man describes that the synthetic skin that he created was resistant to bug bites and burns.
► A man is seen standing in a cemetery with people offering him condolences on the death of his daughter. A woman watches television footage of a cheetah grabbing a small deer in its jaws and we see the deer go limp (no blood is visible). A woman angrily rips up three dresses, scatters the rags on the ground and later vacuums them up. A man playfully slaps the face of an older woman, his mother.
- About 4 F-words, 4 sexual references, 2 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, name-calling (insane, crazy, idiot, weird, madman, cinder, did not look human, dopey, fat, twit, child), exclamations (shut up). Note: all profanity is spoken in Spanish and most translated to English subtitles.
- A group of teen girls and young men are seen smoking marijuana cigarettes, a young man remarks to a teen girl that he is "high" and asks her if she is high, a man smokes a pipe and he identified it as an opium pipe, a woman is seen smoking a pipe identified as being used to smoke opium, a man offers a woman a pill that he says would make her feel sexual and he then takes it, an older woman dissolves a pill from a prescription pill bottle into a glass of orange juice and it is later taken by another woman, a man uses an unidentified chemical on a towel to cause a man to pass out, a woman tells a man that he takes too many drugs, an older woman tells a woman that her son started transporting drugs when he was seven years old, a woman's internal monologue is heard as she reads writing on a wall that reads "opium helps me forget" (written in Spanish and translated in English subtitles), and a teen girl tells a young man about a series of prescription drugs that she is taking. Men and women, teen boys and teen girls and young men and women are seen drinking on multiple occasions, including at a party and a conference, and a man is seen having wine with dinner and drinking liquor at a bar. A man smokes a cigarette, a woman is seen smoking a cigarette.
- Bioethics, facial transplants, gender reassignment operations, kidnapping, revenge, mental illness, suicide, Stockholm syndrome, deception, delusion, grief, rape, mental illness.
- Revenge can make people do very crazy and awful things.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.
NO MORE ADS!
Become a member of our premium site for just $1/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
We welcome suggestions & criticisms -- and we accept compliments too. While we read all emails & try to reply we don't always manage to do so; be assured that we will not share your e-mail address.
NO MORE ADS!
Become a member of our premium site for just $2/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
We welcome suggestions & criticisms -- and we will accept compliments too. While we read all emails & try to reply we do not always manage to do so; be assured that we will not share your e-mail address.