William Stevenson
May 02, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

El Crimen del Padre Amaro

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
120 minutes
Limited Release Date
11/15/02
performer
Gael García Bernal, Angelica Aragon, Sancho Gracia, Ana Claudia Talancon
director
Carlos Carrera
distributor
Samuel Goldwyn Films
author
Vicente Lenero
genre
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it a B

Based on an 1875 novel but set in present-day Mexico, director Carlos Carrera’s best-foreign-film Oscar nominee is a potent drama about a seemingly saintly priest (Y Tu Mama Tambien’s Bernal) who has a torrid affair with a 16-year-old parishioner (Talancon). Since the actress is even prettier than Bernal, it’s not hard to imagine that a young priest would have trouble resisting her. Crime borders on soap opera, and like most sudsers it occasionally drags, but Bernal’s performance is as stirring as a good sermon — and a whole lot sexier.

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