A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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BAD EDUCATION
2004 - Pedro Almodovar - Spain
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"It's as if the films were talking about us." Following up his excellent films All About My Mother, and Talk To Her, Pedro Almodovar continues to show he's become a truly master filmmaker as he ages. Bad Education is in many ways the quintessential Almodovar film! It's certainly his most personal film, as it details in-depth relationships of childhood, religion, sexual abuse, gender chaos, and filmmaking. In all his films, Almodovar has always shown a love and care of filmmaking and cinema, and Bad Education further represents his passion (be it in his direct visual and verbal approach or his evident sense of awareness and respect). From the fascinating opening credit sequence (a possible homage to the great Saul Bass' work for Alfred Hitchcock) to the emotionally moving final moments, Bad Education brilliantly blends Almodovar's inventive visual style, and ambitious non-linear narrative (featuring fantasy, reality, flashbacks, and re-enactments all intertwined and spanning over three decades of time). All at once, Bad Education is a film noir, a mystery, a thriller, and a surreal slapstick comedy. The result is a deeply absorbing and fun cinematic experience which primarily examines themes of deception, and revenge. It's also a film of films and the creative process of art. Gael Garcia Bernal gives an incredibly brilliant and bold performance that I'd rate as his career best. Not to go without mentioning is the creepy performance of Daniel Gimenez as Father Manolo. Bad Education is masterful in every way. It's a film for film fans, and particularly for fans of Almodovar. It's the definitive work of it's filmmaker.
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