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Bad Education (Mala educación, La) (2004)

  Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Written by: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez
Links: Bad Education on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"A film within a film" - a review by pearly

Spanish language films are going through a popular phase at the moment, and the charge is being led by Pedro Almodóvar, director of All About My Mother (1999) and Talk To Her (2002), as well as Alejandro González Iñárritu, both of whom have discovered the star power of Gael García Bernal.

In Bad Education, Bernal plays a young man whose life is consumed by earlier events in which a teacher, also a priest, acted in what it would be accurate to call an inappropriate way. He has become an actor, and is also a bit of a writer, and he meets with a man named Enrique (Gael García Bernal), who is now a film director, and who he claims to have known when they were younger. These earlier incidents have highly influenced both of their lives, and they now begin crafting a film based on these events, but Enrique is dubious his friend's actual identity.

The film is beautiful to watch, as many of the backdrops are stunning. From the open countryside surrounding the rich Enrique's house, to the small village in which Ángel's mother lives, there is much to look at whilst also watching the personal dramas unfold. Bernal is brilliant as usual, and Martínez ably assists. Also brilliant (and totally transformed from his character in Talk To Her) is Javier Cámara, who plays one of Ángel's closest friends.

Bad Education is a little confronting, focusing on topics which are somewhat taboo (as seems to be Almodóvar's speciality), however, it isn't quite as in-your-face as Love's a Bitch (2000), Bernal's break-out role. If you're not the kind of person who is going to get all huffy over a film where some of the leading characters are gender illusionists, and you like your films a little more unique than the general Hollywood fodder, there's bound to be something in Bad Education for you.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 21 Apr 2005

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