When Amores Perros first came out the world of underground film was buzzing with the introudction of Mexican director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, but even more than that, the soulful Bernal. He carried on riding the international fame with Y Tu Mamá También, a multilayered TV-biopic of Fidel Castro and the critically acclaimed The Motorcycle Diaries. After hitting the jackpot with Almodóvar’s Bad Education the move to America was inevitable.
Gael García Bernal hadn’t gained that big of a recognition yet so he started with smaller roles in mediocre, but lovable movies, like The King and The Science of Sleep before returning to the capable hands of Iñàrritu in the massive, international production that was Babel. After that Bernal got casted in films, that had all the ingredients to become cult-classics, but for some reason, didn’t hit the mark. Based on José Saramago’s award winning novel Blindness got mixed reviews, not reaching the genious that it’s groundbreaking premise had. Next was Mammoth by the promising Swedish director, Lukas Moodyson, co-starring the wonderful Michelle Williams, a film that many had high expectations of, but didn’t reach them by any standard.
Since then, Bernal has been under the radar: playing small roles in Jarmush’s The Limits Of Control and Winick’s Letters To Juliet and appearing as Christopher Columbus in Even The Rain. None of these were remarkable films nor gave any real light to Bernal’s talents.
This year, he’s coming out with a truckload of new films. A Little Bit Of Heaven, a romantic comedy with Kate Hudson and Kathy Bates, The Loneliest Planet an indie with an unknown director and an unknown cast shot in Georgia and an Untitled Spanish comedy with Will Ferrel and real-life best friend and Y Tu Mamá También co-star Diego Luna. Hopefully these ventures into comedy will bring him back to the public eye, and give him scripts that compare to his previous intelligent and layered roles. Otherwise, he’ll never live up to his potential as one of the best actors to come out of South-America.