Bad Education

If you’re a fan of professional bad boy and Spanish gender bender Pedro Almodovar, far be it from me to dissuade you from enjoying this elaborate Chinese-box narrative, which boasts an especially resourceful performance by Gael Garcia Bernal in a triple role and a script full of twists designed to accommodate all three parts. It’s about a young filmmaker (Fele Martinez), his former boarding-school squeeze (Bernal), a headmaster-priest who expelled the former in order to abuse the latter, the blackmail and a film-within-the-film that ultimately grew out of these events, and much more. But all the fancy complications, including noir trimmings and notations on the Franco period, left me unengaged. In Spanish with subtitles. NC-17, 109 min. (JR)

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