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While Hugh Jackman’s legacy will forever be tied to playing Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, every now and then he finds a meaty role that serves as a reminder that he’s also a tremendously skilled dramatic actor with plenty of colors that have gone underutilized for far too long. That’s the case with Bad Education, the second feature from Thoroughbreds writer/director Cory Finley in which Jackman plays a public school superintendent who becomes involved in a massive embezzlement scandal. Based on a true story, Bad Education serves as a pretty searing indictment of greed and privilege, and although the themes don’t entirely coalesce by the end, Finley crafts a consistently compelling and often humorous tale anchored by Jackman’s impressively nuanced performance.
The internal exposure of certain misdeeds is only the beginning of the story for Bad Education, as Jackman argues successfully to the school board that by going to the authorities, they would put the entire school and community at risk—including housing values. But what he didn’t count on was that by encouraging a young student working for the school newspaper (Geraldine Viswanathan) to push further for her puff piece about a new skybridge to be built at the school, a serious piece of investigating reporting has begun. And boy are there a lot of skeletons in the closets of Roslyn School District.
Election - Vibes - Bad - Education - Film
There are strong Election vibes throughout Bad Education, and it’s a film that is often very funny. Finley hones in on the unglamorous life of a public school administrator by favoring unforgiving fluorescent lighting and spending a good deal of the first act simply showcasing the grinding day-to-day lives of Frank and Pam. It’s in dialing in on how the characters slipped into outright embezzlement where the film...
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