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Special Presentation in association with Empire

Bad Education

A deliciously piquant pairing of Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney powers Cory Finley’s eagerly awaited follow-up to his explosive debut Thoroughbreds (LFF 2017).

Dir Cory Finley
Prod Fred Berger, Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Oren Moverman, Mike Makowsky
Scr Mike Makowsky
With Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff
USA
2019
104min
Prod Co Automatik

In the early 2000s, Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) was Roslyn, New York’s star school superintendent, hugely charismatic and delivering stellar academic results that helped property prices skyrocket with a housing boom fuelled by parents’ desperation to move into his school’s catchment area. Along with his trusty, salty dog of a deputy, Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney), he could do no wrong. But then a plucky student reporter uncovered some shocking secrets about the school’s finances. This taut and hugely entertaining second directorial effort from Finley comes from a script – which made the 2016 Black List – written by Roslyn native Mike Makowsky, based on the true story of an embezzlement scandal that rocked the New York school system. Collaborating with a gifted production team that includes composer Michael Abels (Us, Get Out) and shot on film by Lyle Vincent (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Thoroughbreds), Finley crafts a compulsive school-set political thriller. Crisply capturing the early 2000s, the film recalls Election and Half Nelson in presenting a high school environment that isn’t what it initially seems. And amongst a brilliant ensemble, Janney and Jackman fizz as the wildly entertaining double act – gobsmacking in their duplicity, charm and audacity.

Tricia Tuttle

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