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El Crimen Del Padre Amaro review

Carlos Carrera's Oscar-nominated exposure of Catholic hypocrisy caused a tornado of controversy in his Mexican homeland.

Newly appointed priest Amaro (Y Tu Mamá También's pouting Gael García Bernal) joins a small community in Los Reyes. He takes his post under the watchful eyes of the town's corrupt priests, whose veiled sins vary from shagging a local café owner to fraternising with drug barons, and between them they hold together the tiny community.

Young and idealistic, Amaro remains strong to his faith until temptation arrives in the comely form of 16-year-old Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón). Three Hail Marys later, and the well-meaning protégé is caught up in the corruption he originally fought so hard to avoid.

Directed with a minimum of fuss, El Crimen Del Padre Amaro makes for a clear-eyed look at Mexican life and the mysterious ways of the church. It perhaps lacks the moral complexity required to turn a good film into a great one, and it's undoubtedly let down by a predictable ending, but remains a riveting drama nonetheless. Make a leap of faith: go see.

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