The best movies available in April 2021


The first time we see Frank Tassone, beloved public school administrator Hugh Jackman stars in Bad Education, he strides onto the stage of an auditorium to thunderous applause. It’s his night, a celebration of his accomplishments, though, as we’ll soon see, he also spends most of his days in the spotlight, enjoying the admiration of his colleagues, students, and parents. Frank, who places super superintendent, is the head of a Long Island school district that, under his leadership, has risen to the top of the national rankings. Wandering from meeting to meeting in his finely pressed suits, a warm smile constantly plastered on his face, he has the confidence (and popularity) of a Kennedy – and indeed, Frank approaches the job with the know-how of a a politician, memorizing names and interests. . But perhaps the real key to his success is that he doesn’t care. In movie terms, it’s as if one of the carpe diem heroes of an inspirational teacher drama has risen through the ranks, spreading his zeal for education throughout the district. Anyway, that’s how Frank would probably prefer to frame his story. Bad Education tells a different version, taken from the headlines and fashioned into something far removed from the genre of gifted class mentors and the young lives they touch. The real Tassone, as some may recall, was at the center of the Roslyn Public Schools scandal in New York, in which two high-ranking administrators embezzled millions of taxpayer dollars. Screenwriter Mike Makowsky, who grew up in the community and attended a school in Rosyln the year the financial fraud was exposed, dramatizes this national news story into a gripping white-collar crime procedural. Cooking the books may seem like a dry subject, but the film gives it a psychological emergency jolt by building an entire house of cards narrative around a character of compelling contradiction: a con man who has managed to reconcile his true commitment towards the community. (and her children’s future) with his betrayal of her.[[[[AA Dowd]

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