Crime of Padre Amaro
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The Crime of Padre Amaro

4.6 8
Director: Carlos Carrera

Cast: Carlos Carrera, Gael García Bernal, Sancho Gracia, Ana Claudia Talancón


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Oscar-nominated and controversial, The Crime of Padre Amaro comes to DVD in a decent, though far from flashy, package. The image, framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, is a fine representation. Colors are well balanced, but not showy, portraying the Mexican locations in a very realistic fashion. Detail is also quite good, as is skin tone, which stands out strongly.


Oscar-nominated and controversial, The Crime of Padre Amaro comes to DVD in a decent, though far from flashy, package. The image, framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, is a fine representation. Colors are well balanced, but not showy, portraying the Mexican locations in a very realistic fashion. Detail is also quite good, as is skin tone, which stands out strongly. The 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks, both in Spanish and English, are basically centered up front, with a moment or two of separation at appropriate times. Dialogue is clear and distinguishable. This disc hardly has a wealth of supplements. On the positive side, it does have a commentary track (in Spanish, with English subtitles, which is something that can't be said for the DVD of Y Tu Mamá También) by director Carlos Carrera and star Gael García Bernal. Both men ramble on and on, and do offer some interesting tidbits, but often it's difficult to distinguish the two, and Bernal certainly doesn't contribute as much as the director. Beyond that is a press kit featurette about the film that doesn't offer much, a very brief poster gallery, and two trailers for this film and Talk to Her.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sobel
This engrossing addition to the recent spate of impressive Mexican films mixes classic human drama with contemporary social commentary. Based on a 19th-century Portuguese novel, El Crimen de Padre Amaro explores the conflicts between love and faith, spirituality and carnality, commitment and opportunism. Amaro (Y Tu Mamá También's Gael García Bernal), the newly minted young priest and protégé of the venal local bishop, is sent to assist the veteran parish priest in the village of Los Reyes, where he becomes something of an unwitting heartthrob. As he grows more involved in the lives of the local priests and parishioners, his naiveté slowly dissolves, and his faith is ultimately tested by his passion for a local teenager, the beautiful Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón). Not surprisingly, given the environment, Amelia becomes a more than willing partner, with profound and tragic consequences. Director Carlos Carrera has a lot to say about the routine compromises -- and occasional outright corruption -- of the Catholic Church, which remains an entrenched and important part of Mexican culture. The glimpses of contemporary Mexico reveal a vibrant and multilayered culture, encompassing drug lords, an all-too-human clergy, a striving peasantry, and an engaged intelligentsia. Although he occasionally allows the sudsy melodrama to overwhelm the more thought-provoking elements of his film, Carrera nonetheless keeps the viewer engaged on both an emotional and intellectual level, thanks in part to some terrific performances, not only from his two smoldering leads, but also from a strong supporting cast of established Latin stars. Not surprisingly, El Crimen de Padre Amaro became a sensation, and the most popular film ever, in Mexico. The DVD's special features include a charming running commentary by the director and Bernal.
All Movie Guide - Todd Kristel
Vicente Leñero adapted his screenplay from a 19th-century novel by Portuguese author José María Eça de Queiróz, but his updated version of this story of morally compromised priests seems very contemporary. Unfortunately, it does not seem very subtle. Granted, the filmmakers have avoided some potentially lurid topics that could be dragged into this type of story. Also, they have made some effort to show that the film's protagonist, Father Amaro (Gael García Bernal), has both good and bad traits. Nonetheless, the film is so ham-fisted and melodramatic that it seems less a tragic tale of human fallibility than a sordid potboiler about corruption in the Catholic Church. The film doesn't establish whether Father Amaro is a flawed man torn between his idealism, pragmatism, and base desires or simply a cynical opportunist who neither cares nor thinks deeply about the moral issues he confronts; the relative lack of internal struggle and soul searching makes both the character and his story arc less interesting than they could have been. Bernal is compelling in some scenes but almost devoid of expression in many others. The rest of the cast fares somewhat better; for example, Damián Alcázar is compelling as Father Natalio, perhaps the most sympathetic character in the film, while Angelica Aragon gives a strong performance as Father Benito's lover Sanjuanera. The story is still pungent enough that it has some emotional impact despite the heavy-handed and simplistic approach, but this could have been a much more complex and moving film.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

The film is directed in a straightforward way by Carlos Carrera, who makes it direct and heartfelt, like a soap opera.
New York Post
Commendably, Carrera steers clear of preachiness in his exploration of a timely and relevant issue, and Bernal's transformation from naive priest to tortured adulterer to hard-nosed careerist is riveting. Megan Turner

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Audio: Spanish 5.1 (Dolby Digital), English 5.1 (Dolby Digital); Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Director and actor commentary; Making-of featurette; Photo gallery; Poster explorations; Theatrical trailers; Animated menus; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gael García Bernal Padre Amaro
Sancho Gracia Father Benito
Ana Claudia Talancón Amelia
Damián Alcázar Father Natalio
Angélica Aragón La Sanjuanera
Ernesto Gómez Cruz Bishop
Luisa Huertas Dionisia
Pedro Armendariz Presidente Municipal
Gaston Melo Martin
Veronica Langer Amparito
Jorge Zárate Father Mauro
Andres Montiel Ruben
Roger Nevares Father Galvan

Technical Credits
Carlos Carrera Director
Nerio Barberis Sound/Sound Designer
Sandra Leon Becker Casting
Carmen Gimenez Cacho Production Designer
Maria Estela Fernandez Costumes/Costume Designer
Oscar Fuigueroa Editor
Guillermo Granillo Cinematographer
Laura Imperiale Executive Producer
Vicente Leñero Screenwriter
Miguel Lima Asst. Director
Jose Maria Morales Co-producer
Arturo Ripstein Producer
Alfredo Ripstein Producer
Daniel Birman Ripstein Producer
Rosino Serrano Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [1:08]
2. Padre Amaro [3:43]
3. Amelia & Ruben [1:42]
4. Padre Benito [3:50]
5. Sanjuanera [:41]
6. First Mass [8:38]
7. Amelia's Touching Confession [1:43]
8. Getsemani [1:10]
9. Padre Natalio's Liberation Theology [7:13]
10. Baptism at Chato's Hacienda [4:14]
11. Ruben's Assignment [7:30]
12. A Meeting With the Bishop [3:18]
13. The Church's Rebuttal [1:52]
14. The Devil's Lair [3:27]
15. Amaro's Sermon [3:06]
16. A Touching Moment [5:21]
17. Assault & Battery [1:07]
18. People Wouldn't Understand [4:51]
19. Securing a Trysting Place [4:44]
20. Song of Songs [3:04]
21. Ten Commandments of Love [7:19]
22. Blackmailing a Hypocrite [1:34]
23. "I'm Pregnant." [6:15]
24. "Maybe Ruben Will Marry Me." [4:43]
25. Dionisia [2:01]
26. Excommunicated [10:22]
27. "She's Bleeding to Death!" [5:29]
28. A Prayer for Amelia's Soul [8:24]


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The Crime of Padre Amaro 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
El Crimen del Padre Amaro, i believe, is a very good movie to watch. It is a well crafted film in every aspect. The film's story unfolded smoothly. The subplots were interwoven in a manner that each of them contributed to the development of the characters and the story as a whole. The scenes provided perfect examples of how visuals can be cunningly used to convey socially-relevant messages. On the whole, the movie is a rare piece of art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two Latin actors, Natasha Perez and Carlos W. Jimenez, were selected to dub the starring roles of this controversial Mexican film. The dubbing of ''El Crimen del Padre Amaro'' was carried out at Media Concept studios, North Hollywood, using Protools software. This non-linear technique is not too commonly used in the Spanish dubbing industry. Carlos Jimenez dubs Gael García Bernal (Padre Amaro). He has been dubbing from English to Spanish for fourteen years. According to Jimenez ''switching was the most difficult part. When I record from other languages to Spanish it comes out natural but now I had to do the opposite. And although Gael is an excellent actor, he speaks very fast. Adaptation, that was the most difficult thing to do'' El Crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro) is one of the privileged six feature films that have been nominated at the Foreign Language category of the 75th Oscar awards. After it's nomination at the Golden Globe Awards¿ Foreign Language category, nobody should be surprised at Sony Pictures¿ initiative of launching a DVD that includes a version dubbed in English. Perez says she was really lucky. ''Although I don¿t have as much dubbing experience as him, I¿ve been performing in English for quite some time. Carlos and I didn¿t get to be in the recording booth together, but his professionalism and human quality helped a lot. He had access to the material and he shared it with me. We were both able to rehearse before recording, allowing us to deliver a top-quality work''. Perez thinks it would be a step forward to see computers and rehearsals becoming the standard in the Spanish dubbing industry ''you are able to give a good performance, you get precise synchronization, and the audience gets to hear the remainder of the original soundtrack ¿intact- because basically, the only sounds removed are the voices in Spanish''.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great movie overall, you have to see it, I can't tell you how good it is!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really recommened this movie to everyone!! the setting and the plot is excelent and will keep you at the edge of your seat. TWO THUMBS UP!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
''El Crimen del Padre Amaro'' is truly the gem of current Mexican cinema. However, it began with the movie ''Sexo, Pudor, y Lagrimas'' (1999) then followed by ''Amores Perros'', and ''Y Tu Mama Tambien.'' Be sure to see many more movies coming from Mexico that will leave you amazed. Its a shame that Mexico didn't win the Academy Award for ''Best Foreign Film''back in March. Not to worry there's still more to come!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent movie! Gael Garcia Bernal is fantastic in this movie! Very contraversial!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago