Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s drama may sound like a stunt – put Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal in a dress – but anyone familiar with the compassion Almodovar brings to even his most outrageous endeavors knows to expect more from him than that. This particular endeavor involves a movie within the movie that a director (Fele Martinez) is making about his youth. Bernal shows up as an actor and former childhood friend who wants to play the central part: a transvestite looking to avenge the abuse he suffered as a boy at the hands of a priest. The degree to which the characters within the movie’s movie reflect their ‘off-screen’ counterparts – and the degree to which Martinez’s director reflects Almodovar – gives Bad Education a surfeit of layers. In a way, this is as tangled a piece of identity exploration as any Charlie Kaufman picture, and often as fascinating. Most of all, however, it’s a showcase for Bernal, who in essence is playing a man pretending to be a woman who is pretending to be someone else. (To explain more would give too much away.) Bernal’s true accomplishment is that he remains riveting throughout.