Bad Education Review

3 May

bad-education-movie-review-2020

Bad Education is an impressive balancing act that avoids the temptation to insert glitz and glamour where none is needed. Its sets are realistically drab, its characters feel grounded, and its tone is fairly muted relative to the absurdist dark comedy it could’ve leaned hard into. Instead, Makowsky and Finley – a pairing that was pretty much bound to happen – rely on the strength of the storytelling and the all too relevant moral complications inherent in this situation.

It also doesn’t hurt to have Hugh Jackman turning in a brilliant twist on his own natural charisma, playing up all facets of his character so well that you feel emotionally ingrained in his journey. It’s more than simply humanizing a terrible person – it’s also about pinpointing the very real human motivations and morals that become twisted in the pursuit of greatness, and drawing those out to reflect on the corruption in public school systems. Capitalism breeds corruption and those who abuse their power should be punished, but it’s a bigger problem than that. Where the film really hits home is in several scenes toward the end that flip the tables back onto some supporting characters, ultimately working to underscore this point – you don’t have to do anything explicitly illegal to be complicit in and profit from a system of inequity, greed, and the exploitation of a child’s formative education.

GRADE: B+

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