Second Skin review

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Alberto (Jordi Molla), a perpetually bestubbled avionics engineer, is ostensibly a contented hetero-hubby to printer Elena (Ariadna Gil). They have a stylish suburban house and a well-adjusted young son. The only problem is their sex life has withered away to naught but pouts and pecks on the cheek. Why? Because he's having a steamy affair with brutishly handsome surgeon Diego (Live Flesh's Javier Bardem). Inevitably Elena rumbles Alberto. Cue brow knitting.

Spanish cinema has a tendency to cast most big male stars in gay roles at some point - - it's voyeurism but seems to work with the Iberian punter. But the humour and quirky grace that Almodovar lends to polysexual proceedings is lost in this ponderous affair.

Molla captures Alberto's bafflement at where his passions are leading him well, but any interesting take is marginalised until the last act, by which time the melodrama has weighed things down irrevocably.

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