Film review

El Crimen Del Padre Amaro

OPENED MARCH 28, CERT 15, 118 MINS

"I confess that I am very sensual, father." Sniggering already? For some reason this Mexican melodrama was Oscar-nominated, but it straddles more lead-me-not-into-temptation clichés than The Thorn Birds. Yes, Mex-cinema's hip and fresh right now, but this isn't, despite the presence of the Latin Jude Law, Gael Garcia Bernal. Modernised from a 19th-century novel, it's a ponderous forbidden-lust saga which could be renamed And Your Priest Too.

Amaro (Bernal) is a young man of God who takes up a post in Los Reyes, Aldama. Local 'characters' abound; the priests sup beer, take back-handers and watch telly. Amaro falls for Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón) and breaks his celibacy vows. Rather tastelessly, he does this in the sick bay of a mentally handicapped woman.

Despite picture-postcard scenery, director Carlos Carrera can't make the passion play with any power. Languid, bordering on lacklustre.

Rating: 3 / 10


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