The HBO movie might also be Hugh Jackman's best performance ever.

Emma Stefansky

This article is from Thrillist

Credit: HBO

Once an American school district reaches a certain level of student test scores and Ivy League acceptance, combined with a general level of wealth amongst its population, things start to get interesting. Roslyn High School, the setting of HBO's newest film Bad Education, directed by Cory Finley and written by Roslyn alum Mike Makowsky, operates within one of Long Island's richest districts, constantly competing against the other swanky high schools populated by all the other children from families who live in McMansions and keep beach houses in the Hamptons. Being an administrator of such a school is no joke, and district superintendent Frank Tassone had made a name for himself as one of the best, rocketing Roslyn's student body to ever-higher reaches of achievement while introducing newer, modern additions to the school infrastructure, making it an ever-more desirable place for Long Island residents to send their kids. And then, in 2002, he found himself at the center of the biggest public school embezzlement scandal in American history. 

Tassone (played by Hugh Jackman in a performance that has been described as "career best," and I'd be inclined to agree) is not just respected by his colleagues, underlings, students, and their parents; he's beloved. He's the man who turned their school into a utopia, made their students higher achievers, got them into the best colleges around, and renovated the palatial campus to nothing short of enviable. In fact, he's been heavily lobbying for funding for a new addition, a glittering aboveground "Skywalk" that will connect the wing of one building to another. It's this very Skywalk that gets one particular student, steely-eyed Rachel Bhargava (Blockers' Geraldine Viswanathan), interested in writing a piece about the subject, and when she digs through the school's long-buried financial records, she finds evidence of discrepancy upon discrepancy, extravagant charges made with school money that don't seem to have anything to do with the actual school at all. On top of everything, Roslyn's leaky ceiling is threatening to cave in: with all the money being spent on "fixing" the school, why has no one paid any attention to… fixing the school?