Bad Education - largest public school embezzlement scandal in American history
Hugh Jackman in HBO film based on the New York Magazine article "The Bad Superintenent"
The American school system is different from the European, it is very competitive, and all is in numbers. Otherwise, Americans tend to measure everything in statistical indicators. Enrolling in a prestigious high school is the first step towards enrolling in a prestigious college. And that opens up all the doors to business success. Business is everything, the dollar is the foundation of everything and the benchmark of individual and community success. It was this approach that engendered Dr. Tasson, a major player in the largest monetary scam in the American high school system. The fraud was described in a New York Times article The Bad Superintendent by journalist Robert Kolker. In the small town of Roslyn, Long Island, during the 2000s, money fraud was discovered at a public school, worth several million dollars. What happened at Roslyn High School during the 2000s?
Dr. Tasson has made a prestigious school out of a small public school!
Mega successful Superintendant of Roslyn High School, Dr. Tasson, adored by colleagues, academics, parents, and students, has been facing charges for large embezzlement. Dr. Tasson - starring Hugh Jackman, is the guru of a small local community. Ever since he led the operational and monetary program of Roslyn's small state high school, real estate prices significantly soared. Reason? The small town is a very popular place for parents to buy the house. To their children, when they schooled on to Roslyn High School, the possibility to enrol in some prestigious college is quite certain from the average public school, Roslyn High School, under the leadership of Dr. Tasson, has made it to the 4th highest ranked state high schools. The great rise of the school is the work of the smart, charming, and capable Dr. Tasson and his assistant, accounting chief Pamela Glucking - starring Allison Janney.
Dr. Tasson knows the names of all the students. He also knows their parents' hobbies, knows each one individually, finds time for everyone. He is nice and gentle, patient, and ready to solve every possible and sometimes impossible problem (unrealistic requests from spoiled parents). The man lives for his job, and the results are very visible. Dr. Tasson's new project is called Skywalk, and with it, Roslyn High School could be at the top of the most prestigious public schools. Rachel Bhargava (Geraldine Viswhavatan), a school journalist became interested in the project. She notices huge invoices, fictitious bills, and similar financial nebulae. Pamela is the first to be the victim of an investigation into financial fraud. Unmasked and disgraced, she is forced to resign but does not go to prison. Dr. Tasson succeeded in persuading the school council that the scandal would also hurt the school's reputation, and their real estate prices. But the persistent young journalist-schoolgirl is investigating diligently. Dr. Tasson himself is on the line. The financial scandal is inevitable.
Screenwriter, Mike Makowsky the real man for this film.
This interesting film about greed and self-righteousness is directed by Corey Finley. Very young and promising director, member of the Youngblood (under 30 age) filmmakers collective. So far he has only one movie in his career - Thoroughbreds, an excellent thriller that has made an unexpected goal - Hugh Jackman. This is a movie that made Jackman agree to the role of Dr. Tasson. Bad Education premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. At that festival, HBO Films purchased the rights to distribute the film, via pay channels and stream services. May 27, 2020, Bad Education goes on the newly launched HBO Max! In addition to the talented director Finley, the excellent Jackman in the lead role, the greatest credit goes to writer Mike Makowsky. He co-wrote the screenplay after buying the rights to The Bad Superintendent article from the New York Times. Mike Makowsky is the real man for that movie. At a young age, he attended Roslyn High School and met Dr. Tasson personally.
As a screenwriter, he is most credited with portraying Dr. Tasson as a multi-layered character instead of the classic gracious villain. For years, Dr. Tasson stole money from school through fake accounts. At the expense of the school, he even had plastic skin tightening operations on his face. Love spends with a gay partner, expensive outfits. But also, Dr. Tasson gave himself a whole lot in a job he was very good at. From a small unknown school, Tasson elevated Roslyn to a school from which enrollment in prestigious universities in the Ivey League is possible and realistic. He had a lot of nerve and patience for the desires of frivolous parents who required special care for their children. Even when they do not have the talent for a higher level. The other side of the coin is that behind the back of Dr. Tasson and Pam Gluckon, the crowds of low-paid teachers and staffers in the public schools have worked hard. But it's hard to judge when the main villain is Hugh Jackman. He's really great. Like wine, the older the better.
To make the movie even better, he had great help in the supporting role of the brilliant Allison Janney in the role of Pamela "Pam" Gluckson. She doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. Just three hundred thousand dollars? Hairstyles, family parties, expensive gifts. Even a play - station for a niece's kid. All this at the expense of taxpayers.
An atypical movie for Hugh Jackman, but the role suits him perfectly.
HBO has a nose for business. For $ 17.5 million, they bought a great movie the one that is neither particularly challenging nor exciting. But the film that has a star in the lead role, and a great script based on a true story.