It should go without saying that the film is visually stunning: from the Saul Bass-inspired titles that tear across the screen to the startling, Riefenstahl-like shot of rows of young boys performing schoolyard exercises, images from Bad Education stick in your head for months afterward. (And I speak as one who first saw it back in May.) But it is Bernal himself who sticks in your head the most. After struggling to get beneath the skin of the sanctified Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries, the much-touted Mexican pinup here has a part—or rather, three of them—he can really sublimate himself into. And he does, shifting personae with an ease Tom Ripley might envy.
BAD EDUCATION was written and directed by PEDRO ALMODÓVAR; Produced by AUGUSTÍN ALMODÓVAR; and stars GAEL GARCIA BERNAL. Now playing at Edwards South Coast Village, Santa Ana.