The Skin I Live In (R) (117 min.) — Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar typically shoves the envelope with lurid sexuality, soap operatic emotions and garish primary color schemes. The Skin I Live In is Almodóvar at his most audacious, nearly to the point of our wanting to view no more.
Antonio Banderas plays Robert, a plastic surgeon developing an artificial skin for burn patients. Robert's research involves testing on a woman named Vera Cruz (Elena Anaya) locked away in his mansion. Something is odd about this woman from the start, and odder about Robert's voyeuristic fascination. They will become lovers, which is nice until their backstories and previously crossed paths are revealed.
It's a sordid blend of drug-induced rape, murder, suicide and a few surgical procedures that shouldn't be spoiled. Almodóvar dives into perversity, practically daring the audience not to follow. The Skin I Live In is a mediocre addition to his resume, yet for fans, even bad Almodóvar is better than none at all. Shown with English subtitles. C+ (Baywalk 20 in St. Petersburg; Woodlands 20 in Oldsmar)