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Gael Garcia Bernal’s Best Movies, Ranked

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Gael Garcia Bernal is a Mexican actor and producer who burst onto the radar of American audiences in 2000 with his breakthrough performance in Alejandro González’s film Iñárritu Love Perros, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He further cemented his crossover talent in Alfonso Cuarón’s 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien. Since that time, Bernal has made his mark in films including Bad Education, The Motorcycle Diaries, Fidel, and coconutas well as the critically acclaimed series headliner Mozart in the Jungle.



Bernal was born in Guadalajara, Mexico to Patricia Bernal, actress and former model, and Jose Angel Garcia, actor and director; her stepfather is the cinematographer Sergio Yazbek. In other words, acting and film are in his blood. Bernal started acting in telenovelas when he was one year old. He continued his work in these uniquely Mexican soap operas throughout his teenage years. He enrolled in college in Mexico to study philosophy, but a student strike forced him to take a sabbatical and he moved to London where he became the first Mexican to be accepted to study at Central School. of Speech and Drama. Bernal will direct night werewolf, a Marvel Halloween special that will bring the actor into the MCU; in the meantime, discover his best films.

6 coconut

coconut is a 2017 animated film from Pixar about a young boy in Mexico named Miguel who dreams of becoming a musician even though his family forbids it. He lives with his great-grandmother Coco, his parents and his Abuelita, all shoemakers. Miguel idolizes a famous dead musician named Ernesto de la Cruz and teaches himself to play the guitar by watching old de la Cruz movies. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Héctor, a charming con man who is also Miguel’s great-great-grandfather in the land of the dead. Héctor convinces Miguel to help him visit the Land of the Living in this moving, vibrant and beautiful animated film.

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5 Bad Education

Bad Education is a 2004 film by great filmmaker Pedro Almodovar about two childhood friends and lovers who are reunited as adults and caught up in a murder mystery. The film is set in Madrid in 1980. A young director (Fele Martinez) is visited by an actor looking for work who claims to be his old boarding school friend and first love, Ignacio (Francisco Boria), who now goes by the name Angel Andrade.

He has the rights to a story called “The Visit”, which tells the story of their time together at boarding school, and wants Enrique to make a movie of it. However, the man claiming to be Ignacio is actually Juan (Gael Garcia Bernal). The NC-17 film is one of Almodovar’s heaviest and most explicit, yet it is a visually striking manifestation of the director’s frequent exploration of genre fluidity and the nature of memory. Bernal is amazing here and also pulls off a nice drag.


4 old

old is a 2021 film from M. Night Shyamalan and continues the director’s constant use of twists and turns to constantly surprise viewers. In what often feels like a body horror movie, a family goes on a beach vacation and suddenly finds themselves rapidly aging alongside other trapped vacationers.

Gael Garcia Bernal plays Guy Cappa. He and his wife Prisca (Vicky Krieps) are going through a divorce and to cheer up their young children Maddox and Trent, the family travels to a tropical resort for their last family vacation. They go on an expedition to a secluded beach with other guests at their resort. After Maddox and Trent quickly turn into teenagers and one of the elderly guests dies, they realize that the beach is aging them the equivalent of a year every 30 minutes. What follows is a disturbing exploration of aging and corporate greed, with a wonderfully melancholic and mature performance from Bernal.


3 Motorcycle notebooks

Motorcycle notebooks is a 2004 biopic about the life of Marxist guerrilla leader Che Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal). It is based on the diaries of 23-year-old Guevara’s 1952 trip through South America on a motorcycle. He made the ambitious trip with his friend Alberto Granada, with the pair wanting to see as much of Latin America as possible, planning to cover 8,700 miles in four and a half months. The result is a great coming-of-age film and a dark meditation on the inescapable presence of politics, particularly in Latin America, and solidified Bernal’s international reputation as a striking leading man.

2 Love Perros

Love Perros is director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 2000 feature debut, and became the first in his “hypertext” trilogy which was followed by 21 grams and babel. The title comes from a phrase that refers to cursed, impossible and insane relationships. As such, the film features three stories of people linked by a car accident in Mexico City. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Octavio, a man in love with his brother’s wife, Susana, and upset that his brother mistreats her. He tries to convince her to leave her brother and go with him.


1 Y Tu Mama Tambien

Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mom Too), is a 2001 road trip directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna play two teenagers who go on a road trip through Mexico with a beautiful woman in her twenties (Maribel Verdu). The film is a subtle, slightly sad, but ultimately beautiful coming-of-age story set in 1999, a time of political and economic upheaval in Mexico when Vicente Fox Quesada was expected to win the election as President of Mexico. after 70 years. reign of the presidents of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Despite this, Cuarón cleverly pushes politics into the background of this tender story, allowing it to be seen through the eyes of real citizens of different classes as they attempt to live their lives. The film led to its director and Bernal being proclaimed as two of the most important figures of the Nuevo Cine Mexicano (New Mexican Cinema) movement.