Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsTIFF 2019: Bad Education Review

dannythemoviemanSeptember 25, 201980/100
Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano
Mike Makowsky
Cory Finley
Running Time
103 minutes
Release Date
Overall Score
Rating Summary
With Bad Education, Cory Finley gives us a more accessible film than Thoroughbreds featuring an authentic and immaculate screenplay and an impressive cast.

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.

Cinephiles have been eagerly anticipating fairly new American indie filmmaker Cory Finley’s follow up to Thoroughbreds since its release early last year. That film was praised for it’s pitch black portrayal of it’s extremely dark subject matter. Those who have hoped for the same from Bad Education may be disappointed as he goes in quite a different direction, but one that does feel like a much more likable and accessible film than the former.

One of the things that jumps out about Bad Education is its impressive cast featuring the likes of Jackman, Janney, and Romano as Frank Tassone, Pam Gluckin, and Bob Spicer respectively. This group of brilliant and recognizable actors individually take a departure from their traditional typecasting, which made it that more fascinating. Even though we know all these performers very well, they come off as this mischievous faculty very believably.

A significant reason of what makes Bad Education as great as it is, is the immaculate screenplay. The fact that the screenwriter was a student of the board which this scandal occurred stretches much further than a novelty or IMDb trivia, as it serves the film quite well. The teachers are not viewed with an unfavorable lens, which makes for a much lighter film than one who watches Thoroughbreds would expect. It allows the film to almost become a screwball comedy, where the audience uncomfortably laughs with each iffy decision the characters make, which creates for an unparalleled cinematic experience.

HBO has what will be a surefire and surprisingly mainstream hit with Bad Education. It’ll likely satisfy fans of Thoroughbreds, but the lighter tone as well as the all star cast will open up a much bigger audience to Finley, which hopefully means we see a lot more from him in the future.

*still courtesy of TIFF*

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