Pedro Almodovar doesn't just make movies. Almodovar is the movies. He revels in everything forbidden and forgiving that can transform life into art. Bad Education, coming on the heels of the Spanish filmmaker's Oscar-winning Talk to Her and All About My Mother, is a rapturous masterwork. This story of two priest-abused boys who become lost men is also Almodovar's most personal film to date -- raw with his own feelings about sex, sin, the Catholic Church and the healing power of cinema. In one scene, the pubescent boys go to a movie house and jerk each other off while watching Spanish sex icon Sarita Montiel. That's Almodovar to a T: hand on crotch, eyes on a distant dream.
Almodovar mixes Hitchcock with Double Indemnity, a song from Breakfast
at Tiffany's and countless other movie references into a hotblooded
tale of deception and murder. Garca Bernal, in and out of drag, gives
a juicy, jolting performance far removed from his quiet intensity in
The Motorcycle Diaries. He is the corrupt soul of a mesmeric movie that
offers temptations impossible to resist.