(THE CRIME OF FATHER AMARO)
December 4, 2002
Mexico / Spain / Argentina / France
Lead Us Not Into Temptation–EL CRIMEN DEL PADRE AMARO.
Laughably one-sided story about the Catholic Church’s effect on a small Mexican town. The new, hot priest (Father Amaro) comes to town and Catholic Dream Girl Amelia is immediately smitten with him. She is young Catholic fantasy personified with her long brown hair, conservative headband, big brown eyes, and short sundresses. The priest doesn’t stand a chance.
Everyone connected with the Church is a monster. The Bishop takes bribes, the head of the parish is buddy-buddy with a drug lord, Amaro is bonking a young parishioner, the most religious woman is seen as a nut who feed her wafers to a sick cat. The only good Catholic is Father Natalio who lives and builds with peasants up in the mountains. We know he’s a good guy because he looks like Jesus and doesn’t fall for the power trip the rest of the Church seems to crave.
Predictable, slow, and ridiculous. And I am no fan of the Catholic Church. If they had kept their mouth shut, this film would have gotten the little attention it deserved. As it stands now, it’s the highest grossing film in Mexican history, beating such better selections as Amores Perros and a film that really was pioneering, Y Tu Mama Tambien. Interesting that all three of these films starred Gael Garcia Bernal as the sexy young out-of-control boy-man.
The saving grace of this film is that Amelia, who is played by someone named Ana Claudia Talancon, is so incredibly beautiful that you can forget the plot whenever her big brown eyes reflect the light. She’s got a Jennifer Connelly vibe. The sex scenes are pretty hot, what with the guy’s priest collar and Amelia’s perfectly white underwear.
Without the two hotties, we’d have nothing here. Incredibly disappointing.
5.8 Critical Consensus