comes to feels stitched together at odd angles from solid if not necessarily complementary parts, like an especially stylish Frankenstein’s monster. Early scenes that focus (quite extensively) on Robert’s work on perfect fake human skin ultimately feel overdeveloped for how little they matter other than providing a convenient premise. You can’t tweak filmmakers for the films they don’t make, but realizing that Almodóvar’s all done with that part of the story makes you long for the rest of his take on the lengths to which people will go for beauty. Zeca delivers a major defibrillation to the tone when he sleazes into the story, but once he’s out of the picture you start to wonder why he needed to be there in the first place. Even grief and madness don’t quite explain Robert’s contradictory actions at various points, much less why his particular parentage needed to be revealed, other than for melodramatic filigree. And for all the horrible things that happen, Almodóvar stops short of actual recoil at anything, which leaves the film, for all its heavy revelations and brooding moments, feeling far too light.