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Second Skin [Import]

Javier Bardem , Jordi Mollŕ , Gerardo Vera    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 38.33
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Excellent acting elevates Second Skin to earnest heights of heartfelt melodrama in contemporary Madrid. It's a Spanish soap opera in the most intelligent sense, inviting comparison to the intimate passion plays of Pedro Almódovar and Eric Rohmer. Director Gerardo Vera's approach is more conventional, despite the fact that this modest tale of marital discord involves an unhappy wife, Elena (Ariadna Gil), whose suspicions are only slightly mistaken. Instead of another woman, her husband Alberto (Jordi Mollà) is having an affair with Diego (Javier Bardem, from Before Night Falls). He's tormented by his genuine love for his wife, child, and gay lover, and his inability to choose between them. Unfortunately, the screenplay decides for him, resorting to a last-minute twist of fate to resolve the dilemma that Alberto couldn't solve on his own. It's a cop-out solution, more suited to bad cable TV, weakening an otherwise honest and emotionally involving film. Recommended, with minor reservations. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Men enagaged in sexxx Nov. 6 2003
This movie came across to me much like a telenovela(soap opera), full of drippy melodrama and a musical score that was way over the top. If you are reading these customer reviews you probably already have the gist of the plot. Elena and Al are married with one child and Al is having an affair with Diego. If there is a twist from the telenovela formula it is that Diego and Al are both men. I got this movie because I like Javier Bardem as an actor and knew nothing of the storyline,otherwise I may have chosen to pass. I'm far from a prude but I must admit this was a most uncomfortable movie to watch. I think I would have died if one of my sons or their friends had come in and seen me watching this movie; nothing could explain what was going on the screen. It is from my perspective not one to watch with your children by any means, unless of course you are far more liberal than me. I asked my wife if she wanted to see it and she read the synopsis and said, "no, I've seen enough gay movies." Up to this point I was unaware of what I was in for! When the "hot steamy" scenes came on I wanted to crawl under my couch least someone walk in. It made me feel terribly uncomfortable. Two naked men writhing about like snakes, intertangled in each others embrace and kissing, leaving not much for the imagination was too much for me. As I thought about what they were doing I felt a bit disgusted. I had never seen something like that and hope never to again. I just would like to warn other like minded people, who are open to gays but don't necessarily want to see their lifestyle that this movie pushes the envelope. The movie carries on with the dillema faced by the three people involved and eventually things get tragically resolved. Read more ›
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By Grady Harp TOP 100 REVIEWER
With SEGUNDA PIEL or Second Skin Gerardo Vera joins the ranks of such luminaries as Pedro Almadovar in achieving flawless vignettes of Spanish storytelling. He has assembled a cast of some of the finest actors on the screen today and manages to present a wholly credible story of a gender crisis love triangle.
Javier Bardem is inimitable as a sensitively wrought gay surgeon in love with a bisexual man (again, in a brilliant performance by Jordi Molla) who is married to a wise if fragile woman (sensitively acted by Ariadna Gil). Bardem's best friend is a fellow surgeon (the wondrous Cecilia Roth) who helps him through the highs and lows of his love affair with a man who is conflicted to the extreme. To tell more of the story would be to deprive the viewer of the impact. Suffice it to say that with the consistently excellent performances by this stunning quartet under the ever sensitive eye of Vera, this is a film to see again and again. Why is it that American actors have so much difficulty playing gay men? These two Spanish actors, coming from a society that is machismo, still make their lovers wholly believable and sensusal.
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3.0 out of 5 stars HUH? WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? July 8 2003
By A Customer
ok, by now you guys already know what the film is all about so i won't get into it. let's just go ahead and talk about it.

the acting? good. the actors? gorgeous. jordi molla's shifting blue eyes, nervous smile, and impulsive hair stroking, infuses his character with scrim behavior. he is a most arresting presence. bardem lends his diego an almost cheerleader like optimism.
it's a stylish film. swelling soundtrack and exotic cuban, lucrecia, singing a sultry version of "youkali." diego's environs are of ocean breezes and vibrant home colors while problematic alberto's is all dark, blue, and gloomy. he even sports stuble 24/7 and glassy eyes to drive home his inner struggles. truly stylish.

but the ending was a betrayal, a cheap irony considering the clincher of the movie which was a line that basically outlined alberto's non-confrontational method of dealing with his issues; diego says to alberto, "once again, we do the dirty work for you." well, the ending does the dirty work for alberto effectively. what a copout solution indeed! confused alberto gets off scott free and left everybody else to suffer! this is where the movie's soul is lost. this is where it sinks into melodrama.

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The love scenes between Javier Bardem and Jordi Molla are tender and the most erotic I've seen in a foreign motion picture, not even American motion pictures will show two men that erotic together. This turns out to be a good, interesting story at first. And is a very real situation in today's modern world. A married man is having an affair with another man he enjoys privatly being with. Meanwhile, he has a wife at home. Their child finds a receipt, but the wife notices a receipt from a hotel. The wife never finds out who it is or really pinpoints that he is having an affair at all. The two men continue to see each other and tell one another "I Love you". Until the subject of public openess and women becomes a block. I won't say anymore about the plot. The film is good, but not quite as perfect as I was hoping for. They have yet to make a perfect man to man film were both men stay together forever, or at least stay friends. Here is my thanks to Javier Bardem for playing gay men so well and honest. He is the best. (Note: Javier Bardem has a 12-year relationship with his girlfriend, so no bad gossip now. He is a good actor.)
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good movie - could have been better
this is a difficult topic -most directors will not like to deal with the "gay" topic especially when it is so physical in nature on screen. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2003 by Libri Mundi
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I really had looked forward to this movie. Having seen Javier Burdem in "Before Night Falls" I was thrilled that he was appearing in another (supposedly) intense "gay-themed" film. Read more
Published on April 23 2003 by GEORGE RANNIE
4.0 out of 5 stars Bardem: fearless; Molla: even better; the ending: a copout
First of all, if you made it here, congratulations! This movie is hard to find. Released in Spain as "Segunda Piel" and in the UK/US as "Second Skin," amazon. Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by Andy Orrock
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop watching it
I could not stop watching this movie. The acting was superb. Javier Bardem, Jordi Molla, and Ariandna Gil did awesome jobs of acting. Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by Kimberly A. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Put Far From Heaven far from your mind and see this instead
It's a shame that Far From Heaven got the press and nods because Second Skin is a far more realistic portrayal of life for a gay married man. Read more
Published on March 10 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Steamy drama starring Javier Bardem
"Second Skin" is the follow up film to Javier Bardem's Academy Award Nominated performance for Best Actor in "Before Night Falls" . Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2003
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