Title – Bad Education (2019)
Director – Cory Finlay (Thoroughbreds)
Cast – Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Alex Wolff
Plot – Based on the true story of the Roslyn school district scandal in New York, that saw beloved school superintendent Frank Tassone (Jackman) and his trusted off-sider Pam Gluckin (Janney) embroiled in a multi-million dollar rip-off of tax payers monies.
“My problem is you”
Review by Eddie on 18/05/2020
HBO is a brand that is synonymous with quality.
There would be few that would argue against that fact, and while the streaming and production giant is still best known for delivering high-end TV shows and mini-series, their work in the feature film space is beginning to grow in stature.
Following on the likes of Paterno, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and Elephant, Bad Education, the second film of Thoroughbreds director and likely future film-making star Cory Finlay, is another feather in the cap of HBO as they shine a light on one of the great education scandals in recent American history and unearth one of Hugh Jackman’s best roles and performances in doing so.
Embedding his expose on the Ney York Roslyn school district scandal, a scandal in which millions of tax payers dollars was misspent by some conniving high end staffers, with a dark sense of humour and tonal shifts that were prevalent in his well-regarded off-beat debut, Finlay is a great choice of visionary to tell this story, that appears in many regards too deliciously nefarious to be real.
Front and centre to this affair is Jackman as the well-liked and seemingly squeaky clean superintendent Frank Tassone, a juicy role for the actor that sees him get to be both undeniably charming and clear-cut and also wickedly devious, it’s a role we don’t often get to see from Jackman and one that allows him to showcase his broad acting range, a range that when utilised well sees the beloved actor acting in the top echelon of performers working today.
Alongside the likes of a typically snarly Allison Janney as Tassone off-sider Pam Gluckin and another dramatically focussed Ray Romano performance as school board president Bob Spicer, Jackman laps up the material his been presented with by Mike Makowsky’s razor sharp script and Finlay’s enthusiastic direction and getting to watch Jackman delve into the full range of Tassone’s emotions as the situation around him quickly sinks is a joyous viewing experience.
Final Say –
Filled with some great acting turns and assuredly telling the near unbelievable story of devious deeds and plots, Bad Education is a suburb watch that features all the hallmarks of HBO’s mark of quality and one of the best lead performances yet of Hugh Jackman.
4 pastrami sandwiches out of 5