Bad Education

SOME PEOPLE LEARN THE HARD WAY.

One of the most outrageous cases of fraud ever committed at a school took place in the Roslyn, New York district. When the superintendent was hauled away by police in 2004, screenwriter Mike Makowsky was a student there. In his and director Cory Finley’s hands, the story is turned into a black comedy, with superior performances by Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney as two educators who couldn’t stop spending money on their lavish, alternative lifestyles (and those close to them who benefited) once they started. Sharp, amusing and sad, the film convincingly illustrates the depth of excuses people like these have to invent for themselves.

2020-U.S. 108 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Fred Berger, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Julie Lebedev, Mike Makowsky, Oren Moverman, Eddie Vaisman. Directed by Cory Finley. Screenplay: Mike Makowsky. Book: Robert Kolker (”The Bad Superintendent”). Cast: Hugh Jackman (Frank Tassone), Allison Janney (Pamela Gluckin), Ray Romano (Bob Spicer), Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff, Kayli Carter.

Trivia: Premiered at the Toronto film festival, then released on cable. 

Last word: “We […] did a fair amount of makeup on Hugh. […] There were certain angles that we could shoot his made-up face to make him look more ‘bad,’ for lack of a better word; sort of more human as well, and less like a movie star. So even within the course of the film, we wanted the way that we were invited to look at Frank to reflect our changing perceptions of him.” (Finley, The A.V. Club)

 

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