You can tell Bad Education is a very good film because as we near the conclusion there is a great interest in the story arcs and resolution for at least three characters: Hugh Jackman’s Frank Tassone, Allison Janney’s Pam Gluckin, and Geraldine Viswanathan’s Rachel Bhargava
Strong opening- a tracking shot behind Jackman’s character with Ray Romano’s character touting all the achievements. As Jackman’s character makes his way to the crowd we’re going with him—it’s like a boxer going to the ring or a rock star making his way to the stage
Jackman’s first meeting with Viswanathan’s character is brilliant as well- it’s an ironic sliding doors moment- twist of fate for the narrative- but it also shows what a powerful educator and charismatic character he is
He’s more than that of course- it’s a great character and nice resume-builder for Jackman. His Frank Tassone is a motivator, manipulative (love his “let’s tease this out” prodding to the board), a spin-doctor, smooth-operator, intelligent and disciplined.
I get the name- but wish we had a different title – same as the not-so-distant-past Almodovar film
Michael Abels’s score (worked with Jordan Peele on Us, Get Out) stirs up anxiety and dread
It’s a character study and a true-life crime and investigation story—I see some Fargo here, Shattered Glass– All the President’s Men
@Drake Watched this movie yesterday. Gotta say I was a lot more impressed then you.)
– Terrific script. As you mentioned it skillfully builds three character arcs, gives them ample time to shows several sides of their personalities but never loses momentum.
– Jackman is outstanding. From what I’ve seen, it’s one of his best performances. Janney is not far behind.
– Finley direction was always on point. From the introductory tracking shot of Jackman at the beginning of the movie to the final mirrored fantasy ending.
– Especially liked how he used Abel’s score to punctuate moments. For example, we see Janney character throw something in her office at 32 minutes, but we too far away to hear it. So the sound is done through the score.
– Jackman has so many great scenes, but I especially want to mention the “accelerate” scene.) How he goes from quitly angry and annoyed to a bit disturbing (but still in the name of education -haha) and finally hurt about teachers-parents relationships is just marvelous.
– I’ve mentioned the structure of the screenplay, but the dialogues are also really solid. Sharp but still natural unlike Sorkins for example ( not a critique, I love Sorkins dialogue)
– B+ outstanding movie. Would be something like MS in your system.
I count this as 2020 movie. And for me, it’s the fifth outstanding movie from it. Taking the pandemic into account, I’m actually impressed that there are this many.)
Judging from your ratings, the 2020 is one of the weakest year’s for you, right?
@Mad Mike- thanks for sharing. Couple questions? B+ is a MS in my system? Not sure how that equates. And why you have this a a 2020 movie?
Yes, I mean I’m still catching up with some 2020 films, but it is a weaker year. 2019 though, feels like a once-in-a-decade type.
@Drake My system is kinda weird.) I use A+ to mark my favorite movies, and A is a masterpiece level movie for me. A- would be MS/MP border movie in your system. B+ is MS. B is HR and B- is simple R. C+ is fringe recommend or decent watch but not in the archives. C is mediocre and so on.
Hope, I didn’t bore you to death. I guess it’s somewhat confusing, but it works for me.) Of course, rating conversion from my system to yours is pretty rough.) And when I say MS, I mean it’s MS for me. I don’t think the movie should have MS in your archive.) Did this rambling made sense?))
It had the premier on HBO in april of 2020 and metacritic has it as 2020 release.
@Mad Mike- thanks for sharing – it just seems like a B+ is a tough grade for a top 5 of the year quality film (which is what my MS means) so that’s why I asked. Ok- I just go by when the film debuts for the most part and this one was at the Toronto film festival in 2019.
Yeah, I usually go with metacritic or wide release in the us date.
Did you catch Finley debut? I thought it was decent and showed potential ( if I’m not misremembering it also had interesting sound design) but I thought that this movie was a big step forward.
What do you mean by tough grade?
Saying a MS is like a B+ is honestly excessively harsh. I watched Robert Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest last night and found it a very high MS and would balk at the idea of describing a film that is THAT good as merely a B+. A B+ should be like a R/HR or something, never a MS.
@Mad Mike- Ok- yeah you can use whatever year you want for yourself but going all the way back you are going to have some very strange release dates for foreign films especially. I did see Thoroughbreds- I thought it was solid. And yes- what Zane said here as far as being a tough grade. I was assuming your MS grade meant the same as mine though.
@Drake I use US dates and metacritic for recent years. Because I try to watch everything interesting from the year (although I plan to watch less new movies going forward and pay more attention to older ones.)
Regarding older movies I use Kinopoisk (it’s russian analogue of imdb) to keep track of watched movies. i think they use worldwide premier date mostly. For example on 1980 page as far as I can see, the year is the same as on KP. So I think I will be fine.)
I think B+ is not bad analogue for the MS because I have only two grades that are higher.
Anyway don’t want to dwell on it anymore, for me the grades are convenient shorthand and good place to start a discussion, but it shouldn’t be an objective onto itself.
But I will think which approaches to use on your website regarding grades to avoid confusion.