Corey Finley is now 2/2! Bad Education is one of the best written and performed films of the year, and it makes me extremely excited to see what he has in store for us next.
Corey Finley has already proven to have his own unique style through his direction with just one film under his belt, and it’s dialed up to ten here. The film is obnoxious but in a good way? He uses a lot of hard zooms and long takes, almost feeling like an episode of The Office at points. This might sound off putting, but it really works alongside the tone of the film, which is also completely unique to Finley. It’s the same one note, dry, witty humor used in Thoroughbreds, but once again turned up a notch.
Bad Education is a story based on true events following the biggest school embezzlement scheme of all time. You follow the school administrative team trying to cover up multiple accounts of fraud while a student journalist uncovers what is truly happening behind closed doors. In a lot of ways, Bad Education has no right being as smart and clever as it is. It’s a GREAT example on how to manipulate your audience without forcing it. There’s a ton of twists and turns throughout the film, but they're not presented as so. The film always feels authentic and never overly dramatized.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Like I said before, this film is a perfect example on how to manipulate your audience, and that’s due to the incredible writing and performances. Hugh Jackman plays a character who at first glance seems like the school’s saving grace, but there’s a lot more to unpack about him. There’s not much more I can say about the characters without spoiling the film, so I’ll keep it at praising the performances. Hugh Jackman really shines here in a role that’s nothing like we’ve seen from him before. Allison Janney embodies her character very well, and the rest of the cast follows suit. The performances do a lot for the film, but it’s the writing that really goes above and beyond. Through and through, the film is a dark comedy, and you’re either going to be on board with the jokes or you’re not. I can definitely see the tone and writing splitting audiences.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The score is a huge highlight of the film for me. While the movie feels one note and dry (intentionally, again), the score really plays a huge part in making the film feel more alive. It almost feels bigger than the movie itself at some points. Usually a score overwhelming a scene would bother me, but here it really works and elevated those moments for me. It also makes the film feel a bit more sinister. Embezzlement really isn’t the crime of the century or anything, but the music makes everything feel so much darker and is incredibly effective.
There’s not much to touch on here other than the set design. The film itself looks very desaturated (intentionally), and every location and objects in those locations really help give it that look and aesthetic.
"One Of The Best Written And Performed Films Of The Year. "
Bad Education will be the film to assure everyone that Corey Finely is a director to look out for. It’s certainly one I’ll be coming back to and showing people throughout the year. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, I highly recommend checking it out!