3.0, Europe

The Skin I Live In

2011 / Pedro Almodóvar > Almodóvar revels in complex storytelling, and there’s also a kind of magic that emanates from his characters who generally make the journeys quite compelling. But The Skin I Live In fails on both fronts: Not only do we not care about anyone, the plot also feels flat, dated and reaches for an understanding that is too obvious, too easy and too cute. While we do get one of those subtle twists that the director is so keen on, it’s not one that really satisfies. Instead, it comes off awkward, lazy and arguably unnecessary. These combinations lead to what is, to date, the most unsatisfying experience from the acclaimed filmmaker. While 2009’s Broken Embraces was a very enjoyable homage to the classic telenovela, his overall quality of output has been decreasing since the excellent Talk to Her in 2002. One could even argue that, though he tries to show otherwise, he has become safe.