'Blindness' Movie Review (2 Stars)
Movie Review by Michael Phillips
Julianne Moore & Mark Ruffalo in Blindness
Going into "Blindness" you wonder: How will the filmmakers depict what's described in the novel as "a milky sea" of nothingness from the characters' disoriented point of view?
The answer provided by this stern allegory imagines just that -- a sea of milk, bright but indistinct, out of which faces, hands, objects emerge suddenly.
The director of "Blindness" is the Brazilian native Fernando Meirelles, whose cinematographer, Cesar Charlone, worked with him on "City of God" and "The Constant Gardener."
Those dramas worked with hot palettes and a frantic sense of danger. This film is very different: chilly, methodical, a slave to 10-ton metaphor as opposed to metaphoric provocation.
Its source is the coolly murmuring novel by Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate Jose Saramago. His tale follows a disparate group of citizens in a large unidentified city. All but one, a doctor's wife, is afflicted by sightlessness, and the world around them (the story is set in the present) caves in to fascism, looting, sexual exploitation, every kind of moral blindness.
Topping a multinational ensemble, Julianne Moore stars as the wife of a doctor played by Mark Ruffalo. The figures in "Blindness" have no names; that's how deep into the Valley of Allegory we are. Early on, the doctor sees a patient who, in the opening scene, goes blind while behind the wheel at a busy urban intersection. One by one, we catch up with others who have lost their sight: a call girl (Alice Braga); a bartender (Gael Garcia Bernal of "Babel"); the Man with the Black Eye Patch (Danny Glover); and a car thief (Don McKellar, who wrote the screenplay) who helps himself in the prologue to the vehicle belonging to the first man stricken (Yusuke Iseya).
The details are vague, but soon after the epidemic hits, the government confines the afflicted to a cruddy-looking asylum. Much of "Blindness" concerns the battle between Ward One, run like a good, caring commune by the medium-hapless doctor and his take-charge wife, and the venal self-interests of the louts running Ward Three, headed up by Bernal's bartender and an accountant played by the ever-scenery-hungry Maury Chaykin. Moore's character pretends blindness to join her husband in quarantine. Her sighted abilities come in handy when exacting revenge on the Ward bosses who demand sex for food among their fellow citizens.
The pulp aspects of the novel were kept elegantly in check by Saramango's prose style. Director Merielles doesn't push the melodrama either. But as adapted by McKellar, "Blindness" feels incomplete and sketchy, even with this stimulating cast. When Ruffalo's character utters the line, "If you want to make this place a hell, you're going about it in exactly the right way," you're hearing prose, not dialogue.
In its Cannes Film Festival premiere earlier this year, "Blindness" was saddled with lugubrious voice-over narration delivered by Glover's character. That's gone now, and various smaller additions and subtractions also help. Yet even the segments that work in "Blindness" -- when Moore enters a trashed-out supermarket, the sight is eerie in just the right way -- are self-consciously cinematic rather than vividly dramatic.
MPAA rating: R (for violence including sexual assaults, language and sexuality/nudity).
Running time: 2:01
Starring: Julianne Moore (Doctor's Wife); Mark Ruffalo (Doctor); Alice Braga (The Woman with Dark Glasses); Yusuke Iseya (The First Blind Man); Don McKellar (Thief); Maury Chaykin (The Accountant); Mitchell Nye (Boy); Danny Glover (Man with Black Eye Patch); Gael Garcia Bernal (The Bartender).
Directed by Fernando Meirelles; written by Don McKellar, based on the novel by Jose Saramago; photographed by Cesar Charlone; edited by Daniel Rezende; production design by Tule Peake; music by Marco Antonio Guimaraes; produced by Niv Fichman, Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Sonoko Sakai. A Miramax Films release.
About the Movie "Blindness"
From Nobel Prize winning author Jose Saramago and acclaimed director Fernando Meirelles ("The Constant Gardener," "City of God") comes the compelling story of humanity in the grip of an epidemic of mysterious blindness. It is an unflinching exploration of human nature, both bad and good--people's selfishness, opportunism, and indifference, but also their capacity for empathy, love and sheer perseverance.
It begins in a flash, as one man is instantaneously struck blind while driving home from work, his whole world suddenly turned to an eerie, milky haze. One by one, each person he encounters - his wife, his doctor, even the seemingly good samaritan who gives him a lift home - will in due course suffer the same unsettling fate. As the contagion spreads, and panic and paranoia set in across the city, the newly blind victims of the "White Sickness" are rounded up and quarantined within a crumbling, abandoned mental asylum, where all semblance of ordinary life begins to break down.
But inside the quarantined hospital, there is one secret eyewitness: one woman (four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore) who has not been affected but has pretended she is blind in order to stay beside her beloved husband (Mark Ruffalo). Armed with increasing courage and the will to survive, she will lead a makeshift family of seven people on a journey, through horror and love, depravity and beauty, warfare and wonder, to break out of the hospital and into the devastated city where they may be the only hope left.
Their journey shines a light on both the dangerous fragility of society and the exhilarating spirit of humanity. It is brought to life by Academy Award nominated director Fernando Meirelles from a screenplay by Tony Award winner Don McKellar, based on the international bestseller by Jose Saramago, and an ensemble cast that includes: Julianne Moore ("Far From Heaven," "The Hours"), Mark Ruffalo ("Zodiac," "Reservation Road"), Alice Braga ("I Am Legend," "City of God"), Yusuke Iseya ("Sukiyaki Western Django," "Kakuto"), Yoshino Kimura ("Sukiyaki Western Django," "Semishigure"), Don McKellar ("Monkey Warfare," "Childstar"), Maury Chaykin ("Where the Truth Lies," "Being Julia"), with Danny Glover ("Dreamgirls," "The Color Purple"), and Gael García Bernal ("Babel," "The Motorcycle Diaries," "Y tu mamá tambien").
BLINDNESS is produced by Niv Fichman, Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Sonoko Sakai. The executive producers are Gail Egan, Simon Channing Williams, Tom Yoda, Akira Ishii and Victor Loewy. The co-producers are Bel Berlinck and Sari Friedland.
About the Cast "Blindness"
JULIANNE MOORE (The Doctor's Wife)
An actress of exceptional range, has delivered outstanding work in both box office hits and independent features. Her current films include the independent feature Savage Grace, which premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in the Director's Fortnight, about the Baekeland murders that took place in London in the 1970s, and I'm Not There, the Todd Haynes film in which seven characters embody a different aspect of the life and works of Bob Dylan. Moore's recent credits include the action-thriller Next, in which she starred opposite Nicolas Cage, Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Clive Owen, Trust the Man, written and directed by Bart Freundlich, starring David Duchovny, Billy Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal and Freedomland, opposite Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Joe Roth.
Moore is the ninth person in Academy history to receive two acting Oscar nominations in the same year for her performances in Far From Heaven (Best Actress nomination) and The Hours (Best Supporting Actress nomination). Far From Heaven, the critically acclaimed film from Focus Features directed by Todd Haynes, co-stars Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert. She was the recipient of many critics' honors for her performance in this film including the National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics and Broadcast Film Critics, among others. She won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film and received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in the same category. The Hours (Paramount Pictures), directed by Stephen Daldry, is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham, and also stars Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. Among numerous honors for her performance in this film, and in addition to her Oscar nomination, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
Moore's additional film credits include: Joe Ruben's The Forgotten, with Dominic West; the romantic comedy, Laws of Attraction, co-starring Pierce Brosnan; Jane Anderson's The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio; Lasse Hallstrom's The Shipping News, with Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench; Bart Freundlich's World Traveler and The Myth of Fingerprints; Hannibal, in which she starred as 'Clarice Starling' opposite Anthony Hopkins; Evolution with David Duchovny; Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair with Ralph Fiennes (Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for Best Actress); Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress) and Magnolia (SAG Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress); Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune with Glenn Close and Liv Tyler, and Short Cuts (Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female); Gus Van Sant's re-make of Psycho with Vince Vaughn; An Ideal Husband (Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress) with Rupert Everett; The Map of the World with Sigourney Weaver; Steven Spielberg's The Lost World; The Big Lebowski, starring Jeff Bridges and directed by the Coen Brothers; the Todd Haynes film Safe (Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead); Louis Malle's Vanya on 42ND Street; James Ivory's Surviving Picasso; The Hand That Rocks the Cradle; Benny & Joon; The Fugitive; Nine Months; and Assassins.
Moore's additional honors include the Excellence in Media Award at the 2004 GLAAD Media Awards, the Actor Award at the 2002 Gotham Awards and the “Tribute to Independent Vision” at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
After earning her B.F.A. from Boston University for the Performing Arts, Moore starred in a number of off-Broadway productions, including Caryl Churchill's Serious Money and Ice Cream/Hot Fudge at the Public Theater. She appeared in Minneapolis in the Guthrie Theater's Hamlet, and participated in workshop productions of Strindberg's The Father with Al Pacino and Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter with Meryl Streep. Moore made her Broadway debut in 2006 in the Sam Mendes production of The Vertical Hour, an original play written by David Hare.
MARK RUFFALO (The Doctor)
With an expansive list of diverse film credits, Mark Ruffalo is one of Hollywood's most sought after actors, easily moving between stage and screen with working with directors including Ang Lee, Michael Mann, David Fincher, Michael Gondry, Kenneth Lonnergan and Spike Jonze. Prior to Blindness, Ruffalo was in production on The Brothers Bloom, directed by Rian Johnson (Brick). The cast includes Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz and Rinko Kikuchi. Ruffalo will portray the older brother in a conman team with Brody.
Ruffalo can also be seen in Focus Features' film Reservation Road opposite Joaquin Phoenix. The film is based on the best selling novel, which tells the story of two fathers on opposite sides of a hit-and- run car accident. Reservation Road was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and had a platform release beginning October 19, 2007. Ruffalo recently wrapped Where the Wild Things Are directed by Spike Jonze and the Kenneth Lonergan film Margaret with Anna Paquin and Matt Damon.
In 2006, Ruffalo appeared in the Phoenix Pictures film Zodiac opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. Based on a true story, the film follows the men who tracked down the Zodiac serial killer who terrorized San Francisco for 25 years. Ruffalo plays the San Francisco homicide inspector in charge of the case. Phoenix Pictures has announced that they have purchased the rights to The Brass Wall as a starring vehicle for Ruffalo. He will play an undercover cop who infiltrates the Lucchesi crime family in New York to solve the murder of a city firefighter.
Last year Ruffalo made his Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater's revival of Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! Ruffalo received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the category “Best Featured Actor in a Play.” In the Depression-era drama, directed by Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza), Ruffalo played a World War I veteran who lost a leg during the war. The cast included Ben Gazzara, Zoe Wanamaker and Lauren Ambrose.
In 2006 Ruffalo appeared in Columbia Pictures' All the King's Men with Sean Penn, Kate Winslet and Jude Law. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2005, Ruffalo starred as the romantic lead opposite Reese Witherspoon in Dreamworks' Just Like Heaven. Prior to this role, he was seen in Dreamworks' Collateral, released in 2004, opposite Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. In Collateral, Ruffalo played the LAPD officer in pursuit of Tom Cruise's hitman character. He also appeared in Warner Independents' We Don't Live Here Anymore. The film received critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Ruffalo starred opposite Naomi Watts, Peter Krause and Laura Dern and also served as an executive producer on this drama that examines the consequences of infidelity that befall two marriages. In 2003, Ruffalo was seen opposite Meg Ryan in Jane Campion's film In The Cut. That same year, he appeared in the independent film My Life Without Me, written and directed by Isabel Coixet and also starring Sarah Polley and Scott Speedman. In 2004, Ruffalo was seen in Columbia/Tristar's romantic comedy 13 Going on 30, in which he co-starred opposite Jennifer Garner. In March of 2004, he was seen in Focus Features' film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, opposite Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood and Tom Wilkinson and written by Charlie Kaufman.
Ruffalo earned critical recognition in 2000 for his role in Kenneth Lonergan's You Can Count on Me, opposite Laura Linney and Matthew Broderick. For his performance, he won the Best Actor Award at the 2000 Montreal Film Festival and the New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The Martin Scorceseproduced film received recognition from critics nationwide and was especially well-received at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, winning two of the festival's top prizes: the coveted Grand Jury Prize for best film in dramatic competition and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
In the following two years, Ruffalo landed roles in the action films The Last Castle, opposite Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, and Windtalkers, opposite Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater. He also starred in the first picture from Nylon Films, XX/XY, written and directed by Austin Chick. Additional film credits include Miramax's Committed, co-starring Heather Graham, which was also showcased at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival; Ride With the Devil, directed by Ang Lee and co-starring Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich; Miramax's 54 with Mike Meyers; Safe Men, with Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn; The Last Big Thing, directed by Dan Zupovich; Joan Micklin Silver's Fish in the Bathtub, with Jerry Stiller and Dan Bootzin's Life/Drawing.
Ruffalo's acting roots lie in the theater, where he first gained attention starring in the off-Broadway production of This is Our Youth; written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, for which he won a Lucille Award for Best Actor. Variety said of his performance, "Mark Ruffalo is a genuine discovery...it's a terrific performance; funny and heartbreaking at once." Ruffalo has won several awards for other performances, including a Dramalogue Award and the Theater World Award. In 2000, Ruffalo was seen in the Off-Broadway production The Moment When, a play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner James Lapine. Ruffalo was part of an impressive ensemble cast that included Illeana Douglas, Kieran Caulking and Arija Bareikis.
Having trained with Joanne Linville at the distinguished Stella Adler Conservatory, Ruffalo made his theater debut in Avenue A at The Cast Theater. Ruffalo continued his relationship with The Cast Theater, performing in several of Justin Tanner's award-winning plays, including Still Life With Vacuum Salesman and Tent Show. A writer, director and producer as well, Ruffalo co-wrote the screenplay for the independent film The Destiny of Marty Fine, which was the first runner-up in the 1995 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Additionally, he has directed several plays and oneacts. In 2000, he directed Timothy McNeil's original play Margaret at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles.
ALICE BRAGA (The Woman With Dark Glasses)
Brazilian born actress Alice Braga has been receiving critical acclaim and international recognition ever since her stirring performance in City of God helped catapult the film to multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. Appearing in nearly a dozen films in just five years, Braga, already fixture of Brazilian cinema, has captured Hollywood's attention with a host of promising projects on the horizon.
Scheduled for a December 14 release, Braga will star opposite Will Smith in I Am Legend, the story of the last survivor of a man-made plague that has mutated humans into vampires. Based on the novel by Richard Matheson, this Warner Bros. release is directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay adapted by Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich. In Wayne Kramer's upcoming film, Crossing Over, Braga joins an ensemble cast including Sean Penn and Harrison Ford in a film about the lives of immigrants living in Los Angeles and their efforts to achieve US citizenship. Braga is set to star in Universal's Repossession Mambo opposite Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. Written by Eric Garcia, adapted from his own novel, this Sci-Fi film follows a man as he struggles to pay off his heart transplant before it is repossessed. This film is slated for a 2009.
Braga recently wrapped production on David Mamet's Redbelt, chronicling the life of a Jiu-jitsu master, played by Chiwetel Ejinfor, who must enter the ring to redeem his honor after being conned by movie stars and promoters. Tim Allen and Emily Mortimer also star in this film set for a 2008 release by Sony Pictures Classics. Braga's past credits include: her portrayal of a carefree art student opposite Diego Luna, in Sólo Dios Sabe (God Only Knows) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; A Journey to the End of the Night, an independent film set against the backdrop of the Brazilian sex trade industry with Mos Def and Brendan Fraser; the riveting drama about the dangers of a love triangle, Cidade Baixa (Lower City), and the offbeat comedy O Cheiro do Ralo (Drained).
Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, Braga is the daughter of actress Ana Maria Braga.
YUSUKE ISEYA (The First Blind Man)
Born in Tokyo, Yusuke Iseya started his career as a model while he studied at Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku (Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music). He continued his studies at New York University where he studied film. He made his acting debut in Wandâfuru raifu (Afterlife), followed by Kinpatsu no sougen (for which he won the 2001 Japanese Professional Movie Award), Distance, Gaichu (Harmful Insect), and Yomigaeri. In 2003, he made his directorial debut with the film, Kakuto (which earned a nomination for the Tiger Award) and then returned to acting. His credits include: Dead End Run, directed by Sogo Ishii and in 2005, The Passenger, directed by Francois Rotger. Most recently, Iseya worked with the renowned director Takashi Miike in Sukiyaki Western Django and has recently completed work on Closed Note, directed by Isao Yukisada.
YOSHINO KIMURA (The First Blind Man's Wife)
Yoshino Kimura was born on April 10, 1976 in the United Kingdom and lived in London and New York until returning to Japan to continue her education. In 1996, she made her debut as an actress in the NHK drama Genki wo ageru (I'll Cheer You Up) where she played the leading part. In 1997, she played the role of the heroine's daughter in the movie Shitsurakuen (Paradise Lost) and won the Rookie of the Year Award of the Japan Academy Prize. This marked her jump to stardom. In July 2000, she made her stage debut, playing the lead role in the premiere of Horobikaketa jinrui, sono ai no honshitsu to wa (Perishing Humankind, What is the Essence of its Love?), which was directed by Amon Miyamoto. In 2003, she was cast in a musical for the first time in Me & My Girl. In New York, she took acting and dance lessons. In March 2005, she starred in the stage drama, Maboroshi ni kokoro mo sozoro kuruoshi no warera Masakado (The Saga of Shogun Masakado Taira) directed by Yukio Ninagawa, playing the role of the wife of Masakado Taira, Kikyo, which earned accolades. In August 2005, she played the role of the wife of Mozart, Constanze, in the musical Mozart! Ten years from her debut, her performance in Semi shigure (2006) won her the Best Actress Award of the Japanese Academy Awards. In 2007, she starred in the Hollywood film, Dream Cruise (SHOWTIME), her first Englishspeaking part. Her new film Sukiyaki Western Django (all-English) was released in 2007. She has appeared in more than fifty TV dramas, movies and stage dramas, as well as commercials. Besides being active as an actress, Yoshino debuted as a singer in 1998 with the song “Iruka no natsu” (Summer of a Dolphin) and has released five singles and three albums to date.
In 2004, she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Visit Japan Campaign by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. She also took on the role of Goodwill Ambassador for the Japan-Korea Visit Year 2005 with her Korean counterpart, Ms. Cho Ji Woo, a South Korean actress. In 2006, she served as Tourism Goodwill Ambassador for the 2006 Japan-Australia Year of Exchange. She has gained an excellent reputation for her English speaking ability with the aim of being an actress in the international arena.
MAURY CHAYKIN (The Accountant)
One of the most versatile and prolific character actors in the film world. Known within the business as an actor's actor, Chaykin has appeared in over 140 films. Dances with Wolves introduced his enormous talents to a huge audience in a riveting cameo as a suicidal army major. Other feature films in which Chaykin starred include My Cousin Vinny, Entrapment, Twins, Wargames, Owning Mahoney, Mystery Alaska, Cold Comfort, Unstrung Heroes, Whale Music (for which he won the Genie Award for best actor in a leading role), Being Julia, and The Sweet Hereafter. Chaykin has made five films with the Canadian director Atom Egoyan and has worked with Diane Keaton on six projects over the years. Chaykin has also worked extensively in television appearing on “Boston Legal,” “CSI,” “Stargate” and starring for three years in the title role as the brilliant agoraphobic detective “Nero Wolfe” on the A&E series. More recently, he won a Gemini award for his performance in Ken Finkelman's extraordinary series “At The Hotel” and has been entertaining large audiences with his hilarious portrayal of Harvey Weingard on the popular HBO series “Entourage.”
DANNY GLOVER (The Man with the Black Eye Patch)
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. As an actor, his film credits range from the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise to smaller independent features, some of which Glover also produced. Most recently, he co-starred in the critically acclaimed feature Dreamgirls directed by Bill Condon and in Poor Boy's Game for director Clement Virgo. He appeared in the hit feature Shooter for director Antoine Fuqua and will next be seen in Be Kind, Rewind for director Michel Gondry. He has also been cast in a recurring role on the award-winning television drama series Brothers and Sisters.
Glover has also gained respect for his wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts, with a particular emphasis on advocacy for economic justice, and access to health care and education programs in the United States and Africa. For these efforts, Glover received a 2006 DGA Honor.
Internationally, Glover has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program from 1998-2004, focusing on issues of poverty, disease, and economic development in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and currently serves as UNICEF Ambassador.
In 2004, Glover co-founded Louverture Films (www.louverturefilms.com) dedicated to the development and production of films of historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value and artistic integrity. The New York based company has a slate of progressive features and documentaries including the recently released Bamako, which premiered to superb reviews at the Cannes International Film Festival.
A native of San Francisco Glover trained at the Black Actors' Workshop of the American Conservatory Theater. It was his Broadway debut in Fugard's Master Harold…and the Boys, which brought him to national recognition and led director Robert Benton to cast Glover in his first leading role in 1984's Oscar-nominated Best Picture Places in the Heart. The following year, Glover starred in two more Best Picture nominees: Peter Weir's Witness and Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple.
In 1987, Glover partnered with Mel Gibson in the first Lethal Weapon film and went on to star in three hugely successful Lethal Weapon sequels. Glover has also invested his talents in more personal projects, including the award-winning To Sleep With Anger, which he executive produced and for which he won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor; Bopha!; Manderlay; Missing in America; and the film version of Athol Fugard's play Boesman and Lena. On the small screen, Glover won an Image Award and a Cable ACE Award and earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in the title role of the HBO movie “Mandela”. He has also received Emmy nominations for his work in the acclaimed miniseries “Lonesome Dove” and the telefilm “Freedom Song.” As a director, he earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for Showtime's “Just a Dream.”
GAEL GARCIA BERNAL (Bartender/King of Ward Three)
An actor nearly all his life, Gael García Bernal began performing in stage productions with his parents in Mexico, and later studied at the Central School for Speech and Drama in London.
Bernal appeared in several plays and short films before his major feature film debut in Alejandro Gonzalez´s Amores Perros, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2000. He gained more attention for Alfonso Cuarón's Y Tu Mamá Tambien, where he starred opposite his close friend, Diego Luna.
He subsequently starred in the title role of Carlos Carrera's Academy Award-nominated El Crimen del padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro). Later Bernal was cast to play the revolutionary leader Che Guevara in Walter Salles´s The Motorcycle Diaries. Gael Garcia Bernal also starred in Pedro Almoduvar's La mala educacíon (Bad Education). He then worked on James Marsh's independent feature The King and in Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep. He also starred in Alejandro Gonzalez Ioarritu Babel, Hector Babenco´s El Pasado and Rudo y Cursi.
Bernal founded the film production company Canana with Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz in 2005. Since then, they've produced JC Chavez, Deficit, Cochochi and presently in production, Voy a explotar. Together they also run the Ambulante documentary film festival, that travels around several cities in Mexico.
García Bernal made his directorial debut with Deficit,a low-budget feature film shot in Mexico.
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