Bad Education (2005) 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…
DVD Review

Bad Education (2005)

Gael García Bernal, Bad Education | PRETTY WOMAN Bernal lights up
PRETTY WOMAN Bernal lights up
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Apr 12, 2005; DVD Release Date: Apr 12, 2005; Genre: Foreign Language; With: Fele Martínez and Gael García Bernal; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

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.''

Originally posted Apr 11, 2005 Published in issue #815 Apr 15, 2005 Order article reprints