''Bad Education'', or ''La Mala Educación'' is a 2004 Spanish drama film directed by Creator/PedroAlmodovar and starring Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez and Daniel Giménez Cacho.

The film centers on Ignacio and Enrique, two men who meet again as adults after spending years apart. Ignacio ([[DoNotCallMePaul who goes by Ángel now]]) is an aspiring actor who wants Enrique to produce and direct his script, "The Visit". Enrique's interest is piqued when Ignacio tells him that "The Visit" is [[WriteWhoYouKnow based off of their childhood in Catholic school together]], and includes a fictional account of their reunion years later.

"The Visit" chronicles the story of a transvestite named Zahara, whose real name is Ignacio. Zahara/Ignacio confronts Father Manolo and blackmails him into giving her money in exchange for her guarantee that she will not publish her script, "The Visit", which is an exposé of the abuse she experienced at the hands of Father Manolo as a child. It also includes an account of the boyhood love between Zahara/Ignacio, and his classmate, Enrique.

In real life, Enrique agrees to film Ignacio's script, but refuses to give Ignacio the part of Zahara. Ignacio bargains with Enrique for the part, rekindling the relationship they once had as children. Meanwhile, Enrique, who gets curious about Ignacio's past, visits Ignacio's mother to get more insight into what happened in his life. In the process, Enrique learns that [[spoiler:the Ignacio he just met isn't really Ignacio--it's Ignacio's younger brother, Juan, who is only pretending to be Ignacio. Tragically, Enrique finds out that the real Ignacio had died four years earlier. Things get even more complicated when the ''real'' Father Manolo (whose real name is Sr Berenguer) shows up on the set of the film]].

Needless to say, ''Bad Education'' contains [[ShowWithinAShow layers within layers of story]], [[FramingDevice making it a challenge to separate facts from fictional accounts]] narrated by the characters. The film, which opened the 57th Cannes Film Festival, explores subjects of transexuality and film-making.

Not to be confused with BBC comedy ''Series/BadEducation''. [[note]]Please note the Characters, Trivia and YMMV links above lead to the respective pages for that series, and not for this film. Is there a way around this?[[/note]]

!!This film includes examples of:

* AttractiveBentGender: Gael García Bernal is very pretty as a drag queen.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler: Juan does this by the end by killing Sr Berenguer.]]
* BasedOnATrueStory: In-universe example in "The Visit". The parts of the script that Enrique adapts really happened, up until the ending. Ignacio didn't die from having his neck broken by Father Manolo. [[spoiler:In reality, Ignacio was poisoned by Juan and Sr Berenguer]].
* {{Blackmail}}: Ignacio uses his script, "The Visit", to blackmail Father Manolo into giving him 1 million pesetas.
* CampGay: Zahara's friend, who acts much more flamboyant than she does, despite not being a drag queen.
* CastFullOfGay
* CastingCouch: Ángel's deal with Enrique to play Ignacio in "The Visit".
* {{Crossdresser}}[=/=]DragQueen: Ignacio is a drag queen onstage and a crossdresser off. Later, it's revealed that he's in the process of [[{{Transsexual}} getting surgery for a sex change]].
* DoNotCallMePaul: Ignacio insists that Enrique call him "Ángel", his stage name. [[spoiler:Although, Ignacio isn't his real name in the first place]].
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: After the performance at the drag club, Enrique returns back to his hotel room to have sex with Zahara. When Enrique passes out during oral sex, Zahara ends up having intercourse with him while he's asleep.
* EasySexChange: Subverted. Ignacio is prevented from having one because he doesn't have enough money. All he manages to get are breast implants, and he still looks like a man in spite of that.
* FemaleGaze: There's a shot where the camera spends a good amount of time focused on Gael García Bernal's crotch. [[{{Fanservice}} Not that anyone's complaining.]]
%%* FilmWithinAFilm
* FramingDevice: The script. The inner story is about Ignacio's past and history with Father Manolo and his time as a transvestite. The outer story is about Ángel in the present trying to get Enrique to adapt his script to film.
* HeIsAllGrownUp: Enrique's and Ignacio's reunion as adults has shades of this.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Juan never gets punished for having killed his brother, except for Enrique's WhatTheHellHero moment. He even gets what he wanted and becomes a succesful actor, but was later relegated to television work.]]
* IncrediblyConspicuousDrag: Averted with Zahara, who makes an effort to adopt feminine mannerisms, hair, and makeup on top of the women's clothing. [[spoiler:And then played straight with the real Ignacio, who has stubble and an extremely deep voice.]]
* LostInCharacter: In a sense, since [[spoiler:Juan is only pretending to be his brother, Ignacio. But in the process, Juan ends up involved with the same men Ignacio was with, and ends up dressing up as a transvestite, like Ignacio used to]].
* NobodyOverFiftyIsGay: Averted. The real Father Manolo is played by Lluís Homar, who was 47 at the time the film was released.
* NotGoodWithRejection: Sr Berenguer when [[spoiler: Juan refuses to see him]].
* NudeColoredClothes: [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/artimageslibrary/5842512231/ This dress]], worn by Ignacio during his time as a drag queen.
* PedophilePriest: Father Manolo/Sr Berenguer, who molested Ignacio when he was a kid.
* PerfectPoison: [[spoiler:The pure heroin that ends up killing Ignacio. Since Ignacio was already heavily addicted to it, and when Juan and Berenguer drug him, it just looks like an overdose.]]
* RapeAsBackstory: A rare unsympathetic male example. Ignacio was molested by Sr Berenguer when he was a child. As an adult, [[spoiler:he chooses to blackmail the priest into giving him 1 million pesetas to pay for his heroin addiction and sex change]].
* ShoutOut: The use of the song "Moon River" is almost certainly a shout out to ''Film/BreakfastAtTiffanys'', a film that shares the themes of abusive sexual relationships and bartering sex, as well as the device of a writers' blocked writer and a very distinctive color palette.
* {{Uke}}: The role Juan plays in most of his relationships. He's submissive and compliant to Enrique in a CastingCouch situation where Juan agrees to sleep with Enrique in exchange for a role in Enrique's film. [[spoiler:Juan's relationship with Sr Berenguer is similar, since Berenguer is his SugarDaddy, but Juan is more of a {{Tsundere}} in this case. However, this is subverted when it's revealed that Juan is manipulating both of them to get what he wants]].
* WhatTheHellHero: Enrique's reaction in learning that [[spoiler:Juan helped Father Manolo to murder Ignacio]].
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The film ends by recounting what has happened to the three main characters. [[spoiler:Enrique releases his film and becomes successful, Juan ends up becoming successful as well, but eventually loses his fame on the silver screen and ends up on TV, and Sr Berenguer is killed in a hit-and-run accident that Juan caused]].
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: In Ignacio's script, it's difficult to believe that Father Manolo could think that Ignacio in drag looked like Ignacio's sister rather than a man.
* WriteWhoYouKnow: In universe example. Ignacio writes a script about his and Enrique's life. Although, he's changed some of the details and left a few unsavory details out completely.