Bad Education DVD review

Sep 07, 2020- Permalink

Bad Education, which stars Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, is based on the largest school embezzlement story in U.S. history. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and was picked up by HBO Films, which aired it in April of this year. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is releasing a DVD of the film on September 8th, 2020 and while the characters in this film may not follow the rules, I’ll follow WBHE’s request to add a disclaimer: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment provided me with a DVD copy to review, but the opinions below are strictly my own.

Hugh Jackman stars as Dr. Frank Tassone, a school superintendent in the Long Island town of Roslyn. Aided by his associate, Pam Gluckin (Janney), the charismatic and popular Tassone has helped raise the area’s test results to the fourth best in the country. The excellent scores make area students prime pickings for universities and homes in the area are sought after by parents, which is good news for real estate broker and school board president, Bob Spicer (Ray Romano). When a writer on the student paper, Rachel Bhargava (Geraldine Viswanathan), uncovers that Frank and Pam have been cooking the districts’ books for years for personal gain, Spicer and the board have to decide whether to keep it quiet to protect the school and their own interests.

Financial scandals don’t always make for interesting films, but Bad Education gets top marks because of its performances. Jackman’s natural charm might make playing Frank easy, but Jackman’s abilities as an actor help him create a character of depth, who is not only hiding the skimmed cash, but a complex series of items in his personal life. Allison Janney hits it out of the park as always – can she just be in everything? – and Ray Romano continues to impress with his post-sitcom choices.

On the technical side, this is a standard definition DVD release, so I won’t be gushing about the amazing textures and details like I would if this was a Blu-ray presentation. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack does a solid job, considering this isn’t an action-packed Marvel film. Extras include a featurette on the actual scandal, a look at the real Tassone and Jackman’s character, and a virtual conversation between Jackman and Janney.

If you want to see some excellent performances, I’d recommend adding Bad Education to your collection.