Spain’s wizard of chic effrontery, Pedro Almodóvar, again wraps his elegant style around desperate, sexy, ruthless people. But there isn’t the motor of female emotion (and perverse fun) that the gay director often finds in his leading women. Instead, Antonio Banderas is a statuesque plastic surgeon who uses a lithe young man who attacked his daughter to rebuild the dead girl (Elena Anaya) as his incestuous sado toy. The story is a frigid maze of twisted fixations, including a vicious brother dressed as a tiger and Marisa Paredes as a doting, demented mom. It remains suavely inert, a creepy art object posing. Try instead the masterworks of mania, Eyes Without a Face and In My Skin. 2011.

2.0 stars

— David Elliott

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