HBO has released a teaser for Cory Finley‘s Bad Education, which stars Hugh Jackman as a crooked Long Island superintendent whose shady dealings are discovered by a student reporter.
In what some are calling the best performance of his career, Jackman plays Frank Tassone, a Long Island school superintendent who has brought great honor to the Roslyn School District with the help of his trusted assistant superintendent Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney). He’s beloved by students, parents and teachers alike. But when a plucky student reporter (Geraldine Viswanathan) decides to dig deep into some expense reports, she begins to uncover an embezzlement scheme of epic proportions, prompting Frank to devise an elaborate cover-up — by any means necessary.
The film is based on a true story that served as the basis for a 2004 New York magazine article by Robert Kolker, who went on to write Lost Girls, which debuts on Netflix next month.
I was initially surprised when HBO dropped $20 million for worldwide rights to Bad Education at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but it was a sign of the times. This is premium content, and if HBO didn’t pull the trigger, they knew that one of a growing number of their competitors would. Jackman is an A-list star and this is one hell of a story.
I was a fan of Finley’s 2018 debut Thoroughbreds, but I didn’t totally love it. It felt very much like a play, which I mean as both a compliment and a criticism in equal measure, but again, it was his first film. I think he has a better story to work with this time around courtesy of screenwriter Mike Makowsky, who was actually a Roslyn middle school student when this scandal broke.
Bad Education co-stars Ray Romano (The Irishman), Alex Wolff (Hereditary) and Annaleigh Ashford (Impeachment: American Crime Story), and will hit HBO on April 25. I’m looking forward to this one, because if HBO is spending $20 million on a Toronto title, I’m willing to bet it’s pretty good. Watch the trailer below, and if you want to read Adam Chitwood‘s review from the festival, click here.