Directed By: Corey Finley
I generally always find Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney wildly likable often even when I’m not supposed to so it’s a real mark of their performances (and the truth of the story) that they were pretty damned vile here.
HBO’s Bad Education tells the story of Frank Tassone and the nearly $11 million dollar robbery of the Long Island School District.
Jackman plays Tassone and he’s perfect for the role just on speck. Frank is exceedingly charming, well-loved, the kind of guy that will seek out information to ingratiate himself with you and then make you want to let him rob you blind.
And the way the movie is set up so Janney’s character Pam shockingly obvious (a Corvette really?) goes down first you kind of don’t know what’s going on. Was Frank aware on some level his good friend was doing this and just turned a blind eye?
What was his level of complicity here or was he just outright worse?
I could seriously have gone either way throughout the movie and was genuinely surprised as the true extent of the scandal was revealed by student reporters no less!
So while I really enjoyed the film there were some issues. I thought Janney’s accent was a little iffy but like distracting (I don’t know if it got better or I adjusted to it.) Frank throughout has some interesting points about him basically doing what the school board wanted him to do for nothing, how the community benefited and how teachers are forgotten and crapped upon.
But on that point-
Nice story dude but wrong person to deliver some defense of teachers (I mean he was stealing from them to and part of the reason the students picked up on this was while the money was being spent and stolen the school had roof leaks that they couldn’t even get fixed!)
So those lines from him if they were ever supposed to come off as sincere just didn’t work though Jackman delivers them absolutely brilliantly like a man who truly believes his own crap.
I wish they would have ended it a bit sooner to. I didn’t care for the last couple of minutes.
But Bad Education is worth a watch. Some of the story reminded me personality wise of Elizabeth Holmes and The Inventor documentary. That last bit about the pensions is a nice final kick to the viewer to end it in anger.
I’m thinking this will definitely be a heavy Emmy contender as well!