INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS — FILM #7 of 33
FEBRUARY 23, 2021
Bad Education is based on the true story of the Roslyn (NY) School District financial scandal that grabbed headlines in the early 2000s. The superintendent and business manager of the Roslyn School District racked up over $11.2 million dollars in extravagant personal expenses – the biggest public school embezzlement in American history. A charismatic and respected school veteran, Dr. Frank Tassone is shocked to learn that Pam Gluckin, his colleague and friend, has charged thousands to a school credit card for home improvement projects. A student journalist, Rachel, investigates the story for the high school paper, eventually uncovering that Tassone also misappropriated millions.
Looking at Best Screenplay
Capturing the sinister nature of people in a lighthearted way is a gift. Part of it is the performances from Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, but without an ironclad script to draw from, there’s no way they’d be as good as they were. With multiple layers and revelations throughout, there’s a downhill snowball gaining speed progression to the entire feature.
There are heavy hitters in the Best Screenplay category. “Minari” and “Promising Young Woman” are both Oscar contenders and have some heavy groundswell heading into any awards competition. After those two, I might even put “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” ahead of “Bad Education,” because it’s the type of film that was made for the Spirit Awards.
|1. “Bad Education” — Mike Makowsky|
|2. “The Half Of It” — Alice Wu|
April 25, 2020
“The Bad Superintendent”
by Robert Kolker