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Movie of the Week

Bad Education – Now streaming on Showmax

After a schools superintendent and his assistant work together to put the district on the map, a reporter uncovers an embezzlement scheme, which threatens their reign.

The times they are a-changin. Bad Education was the biggest sale of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and features Hugh Jackman’s best performance, but will never screen in cinemas, and isn’t eligible for Oscars, even after the Academy changed the rules this year. Instead, the film studio chose to stream first on HBO (and, a week later, on Showmax in South Africa) – a decision that Variety describes as “a sign of the future… a game-changer, a cutting-edge example — or maybe you could call it a casualty — of the shifting sands of movie distribution,” where great movies will compete “not for the Oscars but for the Emmys”.  

Bad Education is based on the real-life scandal that went down at writer Mike Makowsky’s high school, where the single largest public school embezzlement scheme in American history was uncovered – by a student journalist, no less. As the movie tells it, she was encouraged in her investigation by the school supervisor, a dedicated and highly respected educator, and the very man her article would ultimately land behind bars.  

In the lead role of charismatic school supervisor, Dr Frank Tassone is played by Golden Globe winner Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables, X-Men). Co-stars include seven-time Emmy winner Allison Janney (I, Tonya, Mom, The West Wing) and Emmy winner Ray Romano (The Irishman, Everybody Loves Raymond).  

“I think that’s what drew me to it,” says Jackman. “How can people who spend their lives dedicated to kids and education end up going so far off the rails? How does that little white lie, or whatever it is, begin to snowball?”  

Watch Bad Education on Showmax: 

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