After Boyz in the Hood and Jerry Maguire Cuba Gooding Jnr had a 12 inch gold plated statue on his mantelpiece and a promising career. No doubt he hoped that playing the title role in Radio. portraying a mentally slow individual who becomes team mascot and assistant coach to the sports teams at Hanna High school. would reinvigOrate a career that has recently been wallowing in the mire of dross such as The Fighting Temptations and Boat Trip. After all, playing a likeable oddball had obvious benefits for Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man), Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) and Leonardo DiCaprio (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape).

24 THE LIST 13—27 May 2004


Madrid, 1980. A successful young movie director, Enrique (Fele Martinez), receives an unexpected visitor at his production company offices. It’s an actor claiming to be Enrique’s childhood friend and lover Ignacio, who the filmmaker hasn’t seen for 16 years since they attended the same Catholic boarding school. Ignacio (Gael Garcia Bernal) now prefers to be called Angel and shows Enrique a short story called ‘The Visit’, about a transsexual singer Zahara (also Bernal) who sleeps with a married admirer called Enrique and who attempts to blackmail the priest Father Manolo (Daniel Gimenez-Cacho) that abused her schoolboy self. Struggling to find artistic inspiration,

democracy of the 1980s, Bad Education (which apparently translates from the Spanish as both ‘bad education’ and ‘bad behaviour’) has been described by Almodovar himself as a film noir in colour. The femme fatale role is here occupied by a ruthlessly amoral man (brilliantly played by Bernal, who’s equally convincing in drag), who also serves as the film’s object of desire, seducing those who who come across his path with Ripley-esque nonchalance. There are Hitchcockian homages in terms of the film’s collage title sequence and Alberto lglesias’ lush score, but this love letter to cinema and to adolescent discovery still has the look, feel and texture of an ‘Almodrama’. While moving elegantly across the various levels of this far from reliable story - which includes an extended film-with-a film

The great mentally challenged football mascot debate

Enrique is moved by this account of his own schooldays, yet it turns out that the real Ignacio died in a car accident some years earlier. So who exactly is Angel and why is he carrying around lganacio’s work? And what is the connection between Manolo and the mysterious Berenguer (Lluis Homar)?

Right now Pedro Almodovar is an artist at the peak of his powers: following on from All About My Mother and Talk to Her, he delivers another piece of consummate cinematic storytelling, with this labyrinthine tale of shifting identities, forbidden loves and obsessive desires. Shifting across three time frames that span Franco’s dictatorship to the

Almodovar seduces us with his saturated colours (reds, greens and oranges) and the elegance of the cinematography and framing. There’s an unabashed homoerotic quality to many of its images notably in the sequences involving the pubescent Enrique (Ram Garcia Forneiro) and Ignacio (Nacho Perez) yet Bad Education also extends its generous sympathies to the character that would have been demonised in many other films, namely the paedophile Father Manolo. Few other films this year are likely to match this combination of formal beauty, narrative playfulness and heartfelt personal feeling. (Tom Dawson)

I Selected release from / n .” 7



With this neo-noir Mike Hodges l'(}‘.'lfillfi old terr'tor, explored «‘- 'i’f? first iii"). the 1971 British gangster classic. Ge.‘ Carter. Bii‘. alll‘otigh both l‘i'Y‘S are about a man seeking revenge and the inability of \io'ev‘t men to escape l"-i?l" pasts. l7 Sleep When I'm Dead is the antithesis; of Get Carter.

Upon hearing the news that his little brother Dane; has; been 'éll)(3(l {i'itl subsequently committed suicide. down and ()th \.'.’ifi (Tzi'aha'i‘ (Inn-C: (latent enacts anything but a roaring rampage of l‘(}\.'(}ll(l(}. Telegraphingi thei' l"’.-T‘f-'l‘.'()li to undermine expectation and toy ‘.'.’llit genre (f()l“.'(?'l°.l()l‘f§. Hodges and bi: <:o~'.'."‘ite' Trevor Preston stage a seemineg innocuous confrontation lilX)" (iraiiav‘s white to his old manor in London.

Instead of a presenting a series of \.’l()|(?l‘l confrontations. fine ‘i r" t‘:X£i"‘l.’lt‘f§ relations between the central characters Graham. h-s toi't‘e' mer list-er: (Charlotte Ramplingl. Davey iJonathan Rees Meyersi. his fr end i‘vlrckstei i.lar:::e Foreman) and how the death of one of liltflli affects the rest. it‘s a." c"s;ei'ible drama rather than a revenge thriller. and rooming; out tl‘e Malcolm McDowell as lwhat else’li a sadistic l)tif;llt(}f3i;'t‘£ili ;;'s we catalys. ‘oi the dark busmess. SyIVIa Sims as Dave, '5; doth. landlady and Ke" Stet? as the crime boss who's got a problem with Graham's reappea'ance.

If anything. there's a little too much dramatic act-on to be fail, t?Xl"(1"(‘r<l"(?'tE. But if that makes for a slightly unsatisfying end result, it‘s; l‘t) give-at .‘li‘. aisin of {ll‘ otherwise mature. slea/y piece of British film noir. iMiies Peder I Selected release from Fri M May.

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Based on a true story. Radio is unlikely to repeat the trick for Gooding and it's not because Gooding misfires like Sean Penn in /Am Sam. Indeed. documentary footage of the real Radio in the end credits shows that Gooding‘s mimicry skills in this movie at least are exemplary. However. his performance is undermined by the stale. functional feel-good manner in which the film recounts how a high school coach (Ed Harris) first took pity on Radio in 1976 after the boy had been inexplicably beaten " up. Coupled with its failure to explore the sociological issues hinted at. this is a case of cinema killing the radio star. Iii (Kaleem Aftab)

I General release from Fri 74 . May. The supertramp comes back to his manor