Edward Karam
April 12, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Bad Education

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
109 minutes
Limited Release Date
11/19/04
performer
Fele Martínez, Gael García Bernal
director
Pedro Almodovar
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Pedro Almodovar
genre
Foreign Language

We gave it a B+

Pedro Almodóvar’s multilayered potboiler Bad Education bubbles with anti-Catholicism, cross-dressing, and sex. (The R version blurs brief naughty bits with pixellation; the film also comes uncensored.) Enrique (Fele Martínez), a filmmaker seeking a project, receives a surprise visit from Ignacio (Gael García Bernal), his first, adolescent love. Now an actor who calls himself Angel, Ignacio wants work, but he also asks Enrique to read a story he has written based partly on their school experiences, which include sexual abuse by a priest. Almodóvar deftly interweaves reality with the screenplay that Enrique envisions — until a third version of events provides a deadly twist.

EXTRAS Almodóvar introduces the film to the AFI in a featurette; and in his running commentary, he discusses his decision to use alternate screen widths to distinguish film and reality (though it barely registers on a standard TV) and says people have likened Bernal in drag to ”a Mexican Julia Roberts.”

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