Bad Education

March 19th, 2004







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more trailers Bad Education

Still of Gael García Bernal in Bad EducationStill of Gael García Bernal and Fele Martínez in Bad EducationFrancisco Boira at event of Bad EducationStill of Gael García Bernal and Lluís Homar in Bad EducationStill of Fele Martínez in Bad EducationStill of Fele Martínez in Bad Education

Plot
An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 7.4/10 (27,179 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Pedro Almodóvar

Stars: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Javier Cámara

Storyline
In the early 60s, two boys - Ignacio and Enrique - discover love, movies and fear in a Christian school. Father Manolo, the school principal and Literature teacher, both witnesses and takes part in these discoveries. The three characters come against one another twice again, in the late 70s and in 1980. These meetings are set to change the life and death of some of them.

Cast:
Gael García Bernal - Ángel / Juan / Zahara
Fele Martínez - Enrique Goded
Daniel Giménez Cacho - Padre Manolo
Lluís Homar - Sr. Manuel Berenguer
Francisco Maestre - Padre José
Francisco Boira - Ignacio
Juan Fernández - Martín
Nacho Pérez - Ignacio (as Ignacio Pérez)
Raúl García Forneiro - Enrique (as Raúl Gª Forneiro)
Javier Cámara - Paca / Paquito
Alberto Ferreiro - Enrique Serrano
Petra Martínez - Madre
Sandra -
Roberto Hoyas - Camarero



Details

Official Website: Official site | Official site [Brazil] |

Release Date: 19 March 2004

Filming Locations: Escuela Pías de Alella, Alella, Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain

Box Office Details

Budget: $5,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: €1,199,793 (Spain) (21 March 2004) (158 Screens)

Gross: $40,273,930 (Worldwide) (27 April 2008)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
At the beginning of the movie, there's a poster of a fictitious film called "La abuela fantasma" on the wall in Enrique's studio (it's clearly visible when Ignacio leaves after giving his screenplay to Enrique). "La abuela fantasma" was the original title of another Pedro Almodóvar film, Volver.

Goofs:
Anachronisms: When Burenguer declines Ignacio's story over the phone, he says that he wouldn't be accepting it for "Short Stories of the 80's". According to his story, it would have had to been at least 1977, three years before the '80s let alone before a compilation of stories from the '80s would be released.

Quotes:
Ignacio: I think I've just lost my faith at this moment, so I no longer believe in God or hell. As I don't believe in hell, I'm not afraid. And without fear I'm capable of anything.



User Review

A movie lover's dream come true.

Rating: 10/10

This is a difficult film to write about. For one thing, to describe the plot would be to give away the twists and thus spoil its surprises; but for another, it's impossible to take a great work of art and put it into words. That said, here goes:

Truth be told, it was the promise of Gael Garcia Bernal (whom I've loved since "Y Tu Mama Tambien") in drag that piqued my interest in seeing "Bad Education." The only other Almodovar movie I'd seen before this was "Talk to Her," which I was on the fence about, but if Gael Garcia Bernal was involved, I was happy to give Almodovar another shot. (Interestingly, "Bad Education" has given me a new appreciation of "Talk to Her." The two films share a lot of themes -- false identity and self-creation, the willful self-deception and fantasy of falling in love, the spiritualization of aesthetic beauty -- not to mention a hypnotic use of music, an indifferent attitude towards women, and a few actors I recognized.)

Almodovar's genius in both "Bad Education" and "Talk to Her" is his ability to set the scene, stringing the audience along, lulling it into a sense of comprehension and security, and then suddenly turning the tables with a twist of such dizzying magnitude that the mind, reeling, forced to give up on trying to understand, must just relax and allow the movie to take over -- miraculously, all without leaving the audience feeling manipulated. In "Bad Education," he takes this device to breathless, upper-atmospherical levels, for with each twist, the film takes on a new genre.

It begins as a tender coming-of-age story, interspersed with boarding-school flashbacks reminiscent of such French fare as Louis Malle's "Au revoir, les enfants" and François Truffaut's "L'argent de pôche," although I sensed a lot of Fellini in the mod outfits, feathery hairstyles, and picturesque bicycle-strewn streets. Probably the most romantic segment of the film, it alludes even to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (Henry Mancini's "Moon River" hasn't been employed so creatively since last year's "Angels in America"). Indeed, the performances are so endearing, the cinematography so warm and luminous, that this segment of "Bad Education" could easily exist as its own self-contained movie. I was fully prepared to embrace it and love it as a sincere period romance.

But without warning, the film turns itself upside down and becomes an exhilarating meta-commentary in the vein of Charlie Kaufman's "Adaptation" (complete with crocodiles). Romance turns to farce and tragedy to comedy as the self-consciously cinematic style gives way to the silliness of a movie-within-a-movie.

Unlike "Adaptation," though, "Bad Education" goes on, and in this way it retains its heart and soul. Further twists are introduced, and the movie metamorphoses into a mystery, a thriller, a dark rain-soaked noir -- by the end, I felt as though I had just lived through a hundred years of cinema history, all condensed into less than two rich, glorious hours.

So what holds it all together? The answer is Gael Garcia Bernal. He is a true movie star -- divinely beautiful, dazzlingly charismatic, with that all-important aura of mystery -- and though he virtually plays five characters as his character transforms along with the film, his strikingly calm blue-green eyes and sensual mouth provide a steady center for the madness around him. Despite the rumors of his abusive treatment on set at the hands of Almodovar, Garcia Bernal has a dignity (without which "Bad Education" would collapse under the weight of its own intelligence) that no amount of makeup, wigs, dresses, induced anorexia, or fake Spanish lisping can mask.

"Bad Education" was one of the most intense movie-going experiences I've ever had, and if its future doesn't hold critical acclaim and recognition as a classic, then there's no justice in the world.









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