Writer: Mike Makowsky (Screenplay) Robert Kolker (Article)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Ray Romano, Welker White, Allison Janney, Annaleigh Ashford, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolf
Plot: The beloved superintendent of New York’s Roslyn school district and his staff, friends and relatives become the prime suspects in the unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in American history.
Tagline – Some People Learn the Hard Way
Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Entertaining, But Shocking
Story: Bad Education starts as we meet Superintendent Frank Tassone (Jackman) and his deputy Pam Gluckin (Janney) who are popular in the school district. Pam has been using the budget to fund her own life, until her son gets caught using the card, leading to the school board Big Bob Spicer (Romano) needing to fix the problems.
A student for the paper starts investigating the figures, while the board look to cover up the problems to save face, but Frank hasn’t had his information given away too, in what shows the corruption going on within the school higher ups.
Thoughts on Bad Education
Characters – Frank Tassone is the superintendent at a New York school, he is very popular, he gets to know the students and has seen the district rise with his leadership. He has to cover up the discovery about Pam even though he has his hand in the pocket too, needing to convince people to side with him as it will be the best for the business. Pam is the deputy Superintendent that gets caught cheating the system, she has been for years and cleverly covering up the expenditures, until she is forced to leave the school to cover up for the school. Big Bob Spicer runs the school board, he is left shocked by the behaviour, not just going to be ruining his reputation but the school district he has seen become popular in the housing market with the change. Rachel is the student that looks to write a simple story about a skybridge, only to start digging deeper about what has been happening, being caught in the middle of the decision on whether to write the story or not.
Performances – Hugh Jackman is excellent in the leading role, he brings the confidence required for the role, while using this to hide the more sinister side to his actions. This is one of the best acted movies of the year, everyone is wonderful to watch throughout the film, all with their own story to tell.
Story – The story here follows a Superintendent and his deputy that caught out in the middle of an embezzlement scheme at a public school, which will see them needing to race the consequences of the damage they caused. The story here shows how two likeable figures in the schooling system, managed to get away with committing a embezzlement scheme for years, without anyone looking twice, before they started making mistakes, which exposed the truth of what they were doing. This is shot in a way that shows the people responsible for committing the crime were the ones that knew how to get people to look away when things started getting too serious, trying to push guilt onto them instead of admitting their own mistakes. The true story is even more shocking knowing this happened without more people picking up on the errors is even more amazing to think about.
Biopic/Comedy – The biopic side of the film shows us just how they got away with things, sometimes not even trying to hide what they were doing from anyone, which is done in a slightly comical way to make us laugh at the reality of the story.
Settings – The film does keep us in and around the school and private lives of the two criminals, we see how they are living it up for their own benefit, which leaves bigger questions on why no one picked them up on it before.
Scene of the Movie – The truth on how it started.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the more shocking looks at how corruption could happen, that is wonderfully acted and opens the eyes to how easily people think they can get away with it.