Bad Education (2020) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Hugh Jackman shines in “Bad Education” as the self righteous corrupted school principle ripping off millions of public funds into his own personal accounts. Such is the premises of the dark and entertaining film, directed by Cory Finley (the promising “Thoroughbreds”). There is a lot of room for thoughts of the current education system and all surroundings that makes a so-called top school. Once you understand that a school is also a business as being a top school, means that the surrounding suburbs will benefit financially through rising house prices. It is this notion that Director Finley manages to exploits in turn created a black comedy of sorts with entertaining effect.
Hugh Jackman is both affluent and charming as the top school administrator with plenty of secrets to hide. Jackman approaches the real life Dr. Frank Tassone with such a calmness about him that makes him seems like the real deal. Blaming most of the exploits to the other administrator played brilliantly by the dashing Allison Janney. Janney shows how greed can consume you into the means justifying the ends. Such is the ongoing moral dilemma that faces everyone at the school, including students on whether they should expose the fraud and in turn risking their own impending future over a recommendation letter.
All in all, “Bad Education” is incredibly well made and constructed with good performances all round whilst allowing the characters to slowly act out their own situations and predicament. What makes the audience more worrying is that we actually want Jackman to somewhat get away from the whole fiasco. After all, greed for the lack of a better word is good. This is a good film.
I rated it 8/10
Streaming on HBO