Genre: Drama (True Story)
Premise: (from Black List) The unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in United States history – an incredible true story that pits corrupt educators against dogged student journalists against the back-group of a cutthroat Long Island suburb.
About: This one finished low on last year’s Black List. To be honest, it sounded a little dry and I originally had no plans to read it. But then I saw it was written by Mike Makowsky, who wrote the script, I Think We’re Alone Now, a spec sale from a couple of years ago about a man who attempts to keep order in a small suburb after the apocalypse. I liked that script a lot so decided to give this one a chance. Holy moses I’m glad I did!
Writer: Mike Makowsky
Details: 122 pages

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I’m not sure who should play Tassone but I’m thinking McConaughey or Cranston. What do you guys think?

I wish I had more time to go into all the ways this script is amazing. But it’s a long day so, unfortunately, I’ll only be able to focus on the highlights.

Bad Education introduces us to 50-something Frank Tassone, the Long Island school chief for the 4th best public high school in the country, Roslyn. Frank is the single nicest and most caring man you’ll ever meet. From the outset, we see that he genuinely cares about the students and the school, going so far as to keep his doors open all day to any student, teacher, or parent who wants to talk.

Frank’s right-hand woman is district business manager Pam Gluckin. Pam is trying to help Frank fulfill his ultimate dream – make Roslyn the number 1 public school in the country. And to do that, you need money. You have to make the school great so that families want to move to the community and raise their kids here. So Frank and Pam aren’t afraid to, say, build a bridge walkway between two wings if it cuts a minute off the time for students to get from one class to another – even if it cost 12 million dollars.

Rachel Kellog is a curious nerdy student who works for the school paper and who seems miffed by the school’s excessive spending and wants to write an article about it. She interviews Pam about some of the odd budget items, and finds a string of charges the school has made which don’t make sense.

But it’s the parents in the community who notice that Pam recently bought a prime piece of real estate in one of the most expensive getaway spots in the nation – The Hamptons. Something isn’t adding up. When the board confronts Pam about this, they find that she’s basically using the school credit card to buy… everything.

The board wants to call the police but Frank talks them through what that means. If Roslyn is seen as a school that’s allowed this to happen, what happens when the annual budget renewal comes up and they’re penalized? The school loses its prestigious national ranking, kids from Roslyn no longer get priority looks from the best colleges, families start moving out of the district to better schools, property values in the city go down – everything could fall apart.

So the board agrees to fire Pam and keep the matter quiet.

But what they don’t know is that there’s someone way way worse than Pam. And it’s the man who’s guiding them through this mess. Frank has many secrets, and when it’s all said and done, he very well may have stolen 10 million dollars from the town’s taxpayers. It’s going to take a curious nerdy student who won’t take no for an answer, however, to expose that scam to both the board, and the community.

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room. This isn’t exactly sexy subject matter. This is why I tell you guys to be wary of pursuing dry concepts. Even when you achieve the impossible and write one of the best scripts of the year, it’s STILL going to struggle to get noticed and made.

I have no doubt that the only reason this script didn’t finish in the top 3 of last year’s Black List is because people saw the subject matter and said, “That sounds boring as shit,” then didn’t read it.

However, Bad Education is anything but boring. This is screenwriting at its best. Outside of the concept, it did everything right, taking chances, giving us a fascinating main character, keeping things unpredictable, and pulling off some of the best setups and payoffs I’ve seen in years.

Let’s start with the main character, Frank Tassone. This is how you write a great character, folks. This man is our villain. He is a terrible human being. Yet through the first half of the script? We love him. He lives to help students become the best they can be. He helps friends get their kids into the best schools. He runs book clubs to enrich the minds of people in the community. He was so convincing as a great person, I started to think that the real villain would be introduced later in the script. Cause it couldn’t possibly be him.

This is how you construct a great villains, guys. You make them complex. If they’re on-the-nose and obvious, they’re boring. But if the guy who’s eventually going to steal 10 million dollars from people is sweet and helpful, you’re confused, and you have to keep reading to find out how this man could possibly end up being a bad guy.

But Makowsky doesn’t stop there. Frank is widowed for 30 years. Frank is living in the closet. He’s a gay man who has a secret partner, Steve, who he’s afraid to tell others about less they judge him. On top of THAT (spoiler) he has an affair with another man, one of his former students.

There’s just so much going on with this guy. Every 40 to 50 something actor in town should be breaking down doors to get this part. It’s the kind of role every actor dreams of.

The next thing Makowsky did was one of the harder things to do in screenwriting – introduce a lot of characters and give those characters an equal amount of screen time so we get to know and care about their storylines, and do all this without spreading himself too thin. Because that’s the danger when you write in a lot of characters. You spread yourself thin and the reader gets bored cause there’s no one to focus on. I’ve seen many a script die out because of this problem.

We get to know Frank, we get to know Rachel, we get to know Pam, we get to know Big Bill, Frank’s friend on the board. We get to know faculty at the school, board members, students, parents, the children of some of the key parents. You have to remember that you only get 55 scenes in a script. So do the math. If you give, say, six characters 5 of their own scenes each, that’s 30 scenes right there. Which means you now only have 25 scenes left for your main character. So it’s really hard to manage that many characters and, at the same time, get to know all of them.

But where this script really shines is in its setups and payoffs, which Makowsky could teach a course in. For example, Frank is friends with Big Bill, a guy on the board. Early on, we learn that Frank got Big Bill’s less-than-academically-inclined son into Penn State. Bill’s got another bad student who’s about to graduate high school, and Frank assures Big Bill he’ll help him get into the best school possible.

So later, when the Pam thing is caught by the board and Big Bill is the primary member who wants to call the cops, Frank explains what that means. If they’re outed for corruption, Roslyn High now wears a scarlet letter as far as the colleges are concerned. When that happens, they’ll stay away from accepting Roslyn kids. This realization pays off that earlier discussion that if Bill calls the cops, his son will go to a shitty college. Since Bill is the ringleader of the board, this is a major turning point in the story, since he now rallies the group to cover up Pam’s activity and move on.

But my favorite payoff was one of the final scenes. And, actually, this was probably my favorite scene of the year. Earlier in the script, there’s a delusional parent who is convinced her dumb son should be in the advanced classes, and she keeps coming to the school and pestering Frank about it. Frank politely engages the woman, and politically massages the explanation for why the boy “isn’t quite there yet.”

Towards the end of the script, Frank’s secrets are rapidly being exposed. The Feds are moving in. The board members, his closest allies, are turning on him. He begins to realize that he might be going to prison. And right as that’s happening, the same mother and her boy come into his office and she asks if her son can read a letter he’d written to Frank. Frank, his life imploding exponentially with each additional minute, begrudgingly accepts and the educationally-challenged kid can’t even properly read his own letter, mispronouncing a key word in the middle (he keeps pronouncing “accepting” “assepting”) and going back over to try it again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

I want to see an actor’s interpretation of this reaction so badly, that that alone is reason enough to make this film.

On top of all this, when you read the final title of the movie, it will infuriate you, as it represents everything that’s wrong with our government these days.

Man, I wish I could say this was a slam dunk green light but the lack of a hook severely limits it. I mean, yeah, you have scandal. But it’s not like it’s Bernie Madoff scandal. It’s some obscure school principal guy in Long Island. I just don’t know if people would care. Or, more importantly, I don’t think producers would think people would care.

Maybe this needs a Netflix to take a shot at it. The good news is, if they get this into the right actor’s hands, a big actor WILL want to play this part. And if there’s any takeaway lesson from this script, that’d be it. If you’re going to write something that doesn’t have an easy hook, make sure it has a great role for an actor. Cause once you get one of those guys on your film, you get financed and you get made.

God, was this good. An awesome early week surprise.

[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[x] impressive (TOP 15 SCRIPT!!)
[ ] genius

What I learned: Wanna make your script look smart? Look clever? Create a physical symbol that represents the crux of the story’s conflict. Then, keep repeating that symbol throughout the script. When Rachel first shows up to ask Frank questions, she wants to know why they’re spending 12 million dollars on a pointless elevated bridge walkway when the school can’t even fix its rampant water leakage problem. This water leakage is then repeatedly referenced in scenes. And in a great payoff, when Frank finally squares off with Rachel in the school hallways, guess what’s happening? The ceiling is leaking.

  • Scott Crawford

    First comment… and nothing to say!

    Sorry, empty shop.

    • BMCHB

      Wouldn’t Sanchez be an axiom for a “charming psychopath”?

      • Scott Crawford

        Sure, but that’s two dimensions – charming and violent. I’d argue that he shows more character than that. His charm is essential to his public image (a deleted scene shows him inviting people to his casino as it only has one zero) while the violence is part of his job, warning off thieves and those who sleep with his girl.

        But he is also capable of less motivated violence, of rage. Like when he shoots one of his employees for talking back to him.

        He values loyalty and punishes those who betray him, and he’s paranoid that people WILL betray him, and YET he betrays his own men in the end. He plans intricately, then throws it all away just to get revenge.

        A complex character. Through his ACTIONS.

        • BMCHB

          Yeah, I always think a key addition to creating a ‘real’ character is to allow them [the possibility] to say or do things that may contradict their previously stated, or expressed through action, values.

          • Scott Crawford

            It’s a great START. Obviously, you’ll want to go further. But if you start by thinking “how can this character come undone, or almost come undone, by his OWN DOING,” that gives you something to work with.

            Another is to give the character (villain) proper motivation. Pride. Revenge. Idealism. Retirement. So the character can justify actions that we would consider BAD (but bear in mind that the thief or the dug lord or the saboteur or the assassin doesn’t necessarily think what they’re doing IS good, they may think it’s bad, it’s just that they don’t care – they’re above such considerations).

            This is ESSENTIAL if the villain is going to be the protagonist/hero of a script, less so if he’s just the heavy.

          • BMCHB

            Through your VILLAIN’s eyes, he should be the HERO. It’s just that he [usually] won’t succeed either due to the actions of OUR HERO or as a result of not overcoming his flaw.

            If your script can be read both ways and still be compelling, then you probably have an effective villain.

          • Scott Crawford

            Yes, he thinks he’s the HERO not necessarily HEROIC. A fault in some modern movies where they really want you to goshdarn like their villains. I don’t. I want to HATE them, I want to cheer as they get sucked into a jet engine or impaled on a parking meter.

          • BMCHB

            Me, too, but I also hate it when screenwriters insert ‘Kill the Cat’ moments for the villain too early in the script ALL the time. That approach works sometimes, not always IMO.

          • Bacon Statham

            In a script I’m writing at the moment the villain is looking to avenge his son’s death. He was a soldier killed in an operation that was run by the protagonist who feels immense guilt for what happened. The villain’s whole plan is to kill the protagonists son AFTER destroying their lives piece by piece.

            But on the other hand he’s a loving family man, in almost every scene he’s in, he’s with his family in some form or another. He’s also very loyal to the men under his command. You don’t really get a sense he’s evil, whereas the protagonist will threaten to cut out the eyes of an elderly banker’s granddaughter to get information (in the end he doesn’t do it).

            But then the villain actually kills his own wife, who despite knowing what he’s done to the protagonist chooses to forgive him, to save his right hand man. In the end it’s revealed he truly is an evil bastard, whereas the protagonist kills a very important man to stop his son from doing it, knowing full well he’ll either end up dead or in a blacksite somewhere.

            Both men are the complete opposite of each other, but you don’t really know who the good guy or the bad guy is until the end.

          • BMCHB

            Sounds like your villain is the true hero. Leave out the wife killing bit. Maybe she commits suicide. More motivation for the hero.

            I recently spoke to an old friend and he asked me, who are the hero’s these days? I couldn’t answer him….

            Don’t worry about the rest of the world – that “Peter” fellow got me really annoyed today – just write two characters that will clash.

          • Bacon Statham

            To be honest the heroes son is the real protagonist of the story. He’s an FBI agent who gets dragged into it all. During the scene where his father threatens to torture the child, he pulls a gun on him and tells him to stop. He’s the moral center.

            His father is the deuteragonist I guess. He’s an anti-hero. He’s a darker version of the Punisher. He wouldn’t actually kill or harm an innocent person, but he’ll threaten them to get what he needs.

            It changes the story if the villain becomes the protagonist. He’s a bureaucrat working for an organisation that assists terror groups in carrying out their plans whether it be through funding, recruitment, planning, whatever.

            The way the story goes is that the deuteragonist and villain used to be friendly rivals in the CIA. The deuteragonists wife faked her death and went rogue ten years earlier and started working for this organisation. When he realised she was still alive he, along with the CIA Director, created a false flag terrorist attack so he could infiltrate their ranks, but accidentally got the villains son killed during the attack which is why he feels guilt for it. No one could tell the villain what really happened because it would jeopardise the entire mission.

            Anyway the organisation hired the villain to work for them and offered him the chance for revenge.

            Both men do evil things in the name of good. You just don’t really see that until the end. The best way to describe it is by using the Fugitive model:

            Protagonist (son) – Richard Kimble
            Deuteragonist (father) – Tommy Lee Jones
            Antagonist (villain) – Kimble’s friend

            You think that Tommy Lee Jones is the real bad guy because he’s chasing Richard Kimble. You view him as the antagonist. It’s not until it’s revealed that Kimble’s friend is the real antagonist do you realise that you were wrong.

            That’s what it’s like here. The father is made out to be the bad guy but you gradually realise he’s not. It’s not even revealed they’re father and son until the midpoint. But before then you’re made to believe the father is an assassin hired to kill his son, whereas in fact he ”accidentally” saves his life when he’s in danger.

            I agree with cutting the wife killing part though, I might change that. Maybe for his own father instead since he’s part of the story.

          • BMCHB

            I don’t normally say this or do this but I’d be happy to give you some notes if you have any ready pages.

            b r i a r z AT G M a I L. co M

            sorry, for the capitals but every time I put my email address here some wife of a nigerian dead king wants me to launder money for her :-)

    • Henry WC

      Hey Scott, great question. To define a 3D character for me is authenticity, to me it really is that simple. I don’t even believe the character has to change or have any arc at all as long as the character has an authentic motivation and personality. They can have all types of supernatural powers or non-human like features.

      • Scott Crawford

        Using a real person as the inspiration for a character helps. Plenty of real life heroes and villains out there.

  • BMCHB

    This was a very good script. Frank is a great character. The man is living not one but TWO double lives. Honest educator/embezzler AND straight man/gay man! Actors should be fighting each other for this part. Most other parts give ample space for actors to shine in, too.

    Education-based films tend to mostly be of the feel-good (Mr Holland’s Opus/Finding Forrester/Dead Poets Society) or comedy variety unfortunately. This, however, is a great opportunity to make a relatively low-budget and impactful film with definite awards potential.

  • Citizen M

    A reminder that BAD EDUCATION and the other 2016 Black List scripts are available on https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BybNvm-CX6dkcWV6Y0VHRU82Y3c

    Thank you to Scott Crawford for posting them.

    • Scott Crawford

      Thanks, M. Can’t post the drive address from this iPad.

  • Brainiac138

    So this isn’t a remake of the Pedro Almodóvar movie?

    • Scott Crawford

      • Jordan W

        ^All I can think of every time I see the title Bad Education mentioned here.

  • Poe_Serling

    “To be honest, it sounded a little dry and I originally had no plans to
    read it… Holy moses I’m glad I did!”

    Film/book/script…

    It’s always a nice surprise for the viewer/reader to stumble upon
    something that turns out to be really good.

    “What I learned: Wanna make your script look smart? Look clever? Create
    a physical symbol that represents the crux of the story’s conflict.”

    I kinda touched on this yesterday… finding a memorable visual cue to hang
    your ‘story’ hat on.

    • Scott Crawford

      Or a word, like HOME in Jaws.

  • Acer

    OT: Has anyone heard about what’s going on at Evergreen State College? What are your thoughts?

    • Scott Crawford

      As an outsider (U.K.) this seems normal for America, sorry to say. The liberal aspect is interesting, though doesn’t justify violence.

    • carsonreeves1

      It’s about education so it’s actually on topic. :)

      I have read a good half-dozen articles on Evergreen and I still don’t entirely understand what’s happened. What frustrates me is that news sites these days are so biased that whichever side they’re on, they leave out the facts that don’t support their narrative. So can anyone give me a completely objective assessment of what the issue is?

      • Pugsley

        All I know is what I’ve read on the net:

        ‘Last week, an anonymous caller left a message claiming he was headed to the college with a .44 Magnum “to execute as many people on the campus as I can get ahold of.”’

        Probably just some tool making an empty threat. But the political climate being what it is today, no one’s taking any chances.

      • Connor Smith

        One teacher of the school (Bret Weinstein) wrote a formal email saying he wouldn’t take part in a day of absence for whites because he believed it promoted segregation and hatred of whites. The students thought he was being a racist and wanted him fired for it. Basically they overreacted to something that was really damn stupid. And then came the complaints they were being oppressed when they weren’t.

      • BellBlaq

        First 7 mins of this:

        • BellBlaq

          First 4 mins of this:

  • wlubake

    This would be a great role for Hollywood’s most revered nice guys. Tom Hanks immediately comes to mind. Cranston would be good too. Maybe Tom Cruise? Tom can conjure up his “everything is ok” fake smile like in Jerry Maguire. Honestly, he’d be perfect, but I’m not sure if the “in-the-closet” nature of the character would scare him off given his history in the tabloids. With a guy like Cruise, this seems like an Oscar worthy role.

  • Joel Crosby

    If anyone has this script, please pass it along to jhtorkveen [@] gmail [.]com. Thanks in advance!

    • wlubake

      see downthread for link

  • carsonreeves1

    ??

    • Scott Crawford

      We all know Carson’s appreciation of a script is in direct proportion to its gayness.

      • BMCHB

        LOL :-)

      • Patrick Sawyer

        No wonder he likes Star Wars so much.

        • Scott Crawford

  • JasonTremblay

    Someone has issues. Get help.

  • JakeBarnes12
    • Scott Crawford

    • BMCHB

      He just popped my Flag As Inappropriate cherry! His previous comments are even viler than this.

      • Scott Crawford

        I looked and wished I hadn’t.

        I sort of find it hard to believe there are some defending THIS:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40170652

        • JasonTremblay

          It always amazes me that people who champion “free speech” know nothing about it. They seem to think it means “consequence-free speech,” or that it has to be respected by private citizens and organizations, not just the government.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            I think they really mean “OUR right to free speech”…

          • freedom

            It always amazes me that people like yourself pretend to have a greater understanding of what “free speech” actually means, and wants to tell the rest of us how and why and when it should be used.

            No thanks. We’re good.

          • JasonTremblay

            What nonsense signifying nothing. Try using your words to make an intelligent argument. I know we’re living in Trump Times, but not everything has to be unsubstantiated crap.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            It always amazes me how you people project your own selves onto others, accusing them of doing what only you do :)

          • PQOTD
          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Careful, now. That could signify instant world chaos ^^

          • PQOTD

            The world could get even more f*%#ed up? really? I thought we were pretty close to the limits of how we can push f*%#ed-up-ness.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Yes, that’s what I tell myself every day. But then, the next day, humans prove me wrong again. I’m pretty sure we’re nowhere near our f’ed up-ness. Sadly.

    • JasonTremblay

      Look up the research by Henry Adams of the University of Georgia. He found that the more someone hates gays, the more he is turned on by gay porn.

      — Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright Jr., and Bethany A Lohr. Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105., No. 3, pp. 440-445.

      (Might make an interesting screenplay. A comedy, most likely, given how the research on arousal was conducted.)

      • Scott Crawford

        I will, right after I’ve finished watching Bangkok Ladyboys.

        • BMCHB

          You’re on fire today, Scott!

          *This is not a gingerist comment.

          • Scott Crawford

            I started burning walking home the other day, like something out of Near Dark or Stephen .Merchant in Logan. Man, I can’t TAKE the sun.

  • g r e n d l

    There’s an inherent problem with slow burn reveals in films like this.

    If people just walked into the multiplex and chose films blindly, or even watched them on Netflix or HBO, there would still have to be some mention as to the subject matter of the film.

    So Franks a bad guy posing as this upstanding school administrator. That’s the hook to get the rubes into the tent to watch this thing.

    The question is, knowing this, how long do you as a writer test the audiences patience before the big reveal. Because a page too long and they may begin to squirm in their seats, wanting to see the real FrankTassone show his true colors.

    And the writing is very strong, nuanced, deliberate, but knowing what we know , what the marketing promised us, that has to affect our viewing of the story. Around page four it started to drag.

    Frankly, I don’t give a flying fuck about another crook posing as an upstanding citizen, bilking the public out of their money. No interest at all. I can see that on the news. I don’t care about Bernie Madoff in the slightest, and hope he rots in hell for what he did with people’s money and trust. I certainly don’t care about him as a protagonist.

    You could also write a movie about Ken Lay from Enron being a protagonist. Don’t care. Greed isn’t a subject matter that calls for in depth scrutiny and narrative exploration. It’s like hunger, or lust. It’s easy to comprehend. A movie about someone who’s supposed to be looking out for the public embezzzling funds or whatever based on a true story is just a writers conjecture regarding the small details.

    What’s great about a movie like “Wall Street” is that it had as a protagonist someone who was undecided about who he wanted to be in life. Like Lawrence in David Lean’s masterpiece , as Andrew Stanton pointed out in his TED talk, whom the man in the desert got off his motorcycle and shouted “Who are you?” at , the whole question of the film came down to who is the protagonist.

    In a film with a corrupt guy like Frank , he’s already chosen his path before FADE IN. We are fooled by him at first, then slowly let in on his dark secret. Hard to empathize with someone keeping secrets from us at the outset, and even more frustrating when the logline or trailer has hinted at his criminal nature.

    Bud Fox in ” Wall Street” is slowly lured to the dark side by Gordon Gekko, a man who also has already decided who he is, and will be that person until the day he dies. We follow his journey and can understand his decisions to some extent. In the case of “Bad Education”, we don’t get to follow that journey to the dark side. It’s already happened when we meet Frank.

    To me it’s a hard thing to undertake as a writer. Getting us on board with a corrupt protagonist. The story could easily become a documentation of what circumstances led him to making his terrible but lucrative decisions, but that’s like following the story of Annakin Skywalker, knowing the monster he becomes, and it’s asking a lot of an audience to follow that journey.

    Are you rooting for his change of heart? For his exposure?

    http://nymag.com/nymetro/urban/features/9908/

    In a real life story we don’t get the Dickensian Scroogelike transformations we get in fiction. BTW that news story was fascinating, and I can understand why a writer might find it compelling subject matter, but not as anything other than a Dateline story or documentary.

    Giving it the Hollywood treatment just doesn’t seem right.

    We don’t want to follow Gordon Gekko around for an entire film, he’s the strange attractor, the devil incarnate, not the Everyman whose experience we can enjoy vicariously through him because we aren’t, as a whole, corrupt. Just prone to corruption, to being seduced by wealth.

    • carsonreeves1

      Makowsky is actually really clever about this. At first, we love Frank because he’s doing great things for people. He even helps oust the “evil” Pam. Then, when we move Frank into villain territory, Makowsky starts bringing in Rachel (the student journalist) and others to place our “hero” hat on. So no matter which side of the script we’re on, there’s always someone to root for. It’s kinda genius.

      • BMCHB

        It really does work but it is not the type of film that can be “loglined” enough to make it appealing without giving away the reveal for movie-goers as far as I can see. That’s its inherent barrier to being produced. It would be a good exercise to write a marketable logline or create an attention grabbing one sheet for this.

        • carsonreeves1

          I agree with both you and Grendl. It’s tough. That’s why it’s so hard to get movies like this made.

          • BMCHB

            The Hollywood ‘marketable’ version of this would be a rewrite to put the focus on an intrepid and inquisitive group of student journalists that exposes corruption in their local/state school system.

            That would suck! This script is perfect for what it is right now.

    • brenkilco

      There was a true life miniseries from years back that got this sort of story right – seemingly upright character, in this case a seemingly wronged character, turns out to be a monster. It was called Fatal Vision, the tale of too good to be true army officer and surgeon accused of butchering his wife and perfect family, Even his in-laws supported him as did the author of the book the show was based on who initially thought he was chronicling a miscarriage of justice. But slowly the contradictions and inconsistencies in the guy’s story pile up and his stoicism begins looking increasingly pathological and everything goes sideways. Quite riveting. At this point the guy’s been in the slammer for forty years. He still maintains his innocence.

  • Scott Crawford

    As much as I love Bond, I’m not sure there are any other villains as complex as Sanchez. Some are very interesting, like Silva in Skyfall, but their behaviour is no more than two-note – one thing or another. And some are less than that.

    Sanchez has. MANY shades.

  • BMCHB

    That’s my point. It’s a difficult one to market as it stands. It’s a really good script IMO but selling it will be hard.

    It could be made for 6m, I think, with a decent gross back end for the above lines. These days, you’d probably have to go the festival route and release after awards, if forthcoming. I wish you could still open small and let word of mouth create a buzz and go wide after that.

    • carsonreeves1

      No, just have Netflix do it. They’ll give you 30 million and won’t require you to get 1 dollar from the box office.

      • BMCHB

        You must give me Netflix’ number. It sounds so easy :-)

        • carsonreeves1

          They really are just throwing money at people to do whatever they want. Writers and filmmakers better celebrate this time. It’s only a few more Sense 8s and The Get Downs before they’re like, “Ummm, maybe throwing 200 million at people without having a say in what they do isn’t such a good idea.”

          • BMCHB

            There’s a new paradigm in town! The fuss at Cannes this year was proof of that. How long it will last is anyone’s guess…

            It’s good that writers/directors/producers are now actively thinking about this: where can I find an audience?

            Your audience is no longer necessarily at a ‘movie theater’. AND you can still create great films/TV and make lots of money!

          • Scott Crawford

            Was it you who told me 4K TVs would never take off?

            Will more people have cinema quality visual and sound? And how?

          • BMCHB

            People don’t want “cinema” quality visuals. They will go to the cinema for that. Sound, perhaps, but that’s been available for 20 years.

            I have a 42″… TV and I still watch most content on a laptop, tablet, or monitor.

          • carsonreeves1

            I stopped paying attention to that stuff when I bought a 1080p movie for the first time. I don’t even remember what movie it was, only that I wanted something big and splashy to take advantage of the HD. So it was some big blockbuster movie that I didn’t particularly like. About 15 minutes into the movie I was like, “This movie looks great but it still sucks.” And I turned it off and never bought another HD movie again.

            With that said, 4k TVs are amazing if you like sports. It truly makes a difference.

          • BMCHB

            Hurling (an Irish sport) is great in 4k. Baseball in 4k is great, too. I hear golf as well but I don’t watch that.

            Anything with small balls is easier to follow… I knew that would sound strange as I wrote it.

          • klmn

            Hurling is a common pastime in the US too, mostly after folks drink too much.

          • PQOTD

            Australia, any time after midnight Friday or Saturday, too.

          • BMCHB

            Convict! ;-)

          • brenkilco

            TV recently broke and I bit the bullet and bought a 4K. The limited 4k content you can get on Netlfix looks very good, though they only put out their own original stuff in 4k, and who needs to see Louis C K’s face in ultra HD or Adam Sandler’s for that matter.

            Do HDR and the wider color array and the increased resolution really make a difference? In a word, yes. All that ‘the human eye cant tell the difference’ jive turns out to be bullshit. Upconverted blu rays look wonderful, and I was actually struck by details in some movies I know by heart that I had never seen before.

            Very pleased. The set is a 2017 Vizio M-55 btw which was quite reasonably priced and is supposed to be a model that delivers maximum bang for the buck. Now if there were only some classic movies available in UHD.

          • BMCHB

            I have a 4k, don’t get me wrong. The price has come down to make it worth it. But, to be honest, after a few beers watching a game, my eyes get blurry and I don’t notice the difference. Also, all my favorite older shows look like student films on it. I don’t use it that much at all.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Yes.
            Yes.
            And yes :)

          • andyjaxfl

            I just purchased a UHD blu ray player on Amazon and it’s pretty damn amazing with my 4K TV. I’ll always prefer the cinema, but what a gorgeous presentation.

            I highly recommend Planet Earth 2 on UHD. I use that and The Martian to show visitors how gorgeous the picture is.

            I have read a few articles in the last six months or so indicating that a wave of classic film releases are coming by the end of the year. The caveat is that nobody is quite sure what “classic” film means. I’ll jump on a limb and assume they mean 80s and 90s movies.

          • brenkilco

            Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on The River Kwai are streaming on Amazon but you cant watch them with a chromecast which is what my 4k has because Amazon wants to screw Google. Likewise I understand that all the Bond movies are streaming in 4k on Hulu but you can only get them in 4k through a couple of gaming consoles not an ordinary streaming box. So much commercial and tech bullshit to deal with. And nobody seems in any hurry to release older films on UHD disc, which might convince me to get a 4k bluray player.

  • klmn

    I read the first ten and the most visual thing is the janitor pushing a floor polisher. Is there anything cinematic in this script?

    • BMCHB

      The GAY fella’!

    • carsonreeves1

      the first 10 are the weakest pages. I shudder to say that since I’m always telling you guys to make your first 10 pages great. but it’s the case with this one.

      Oh, but to answer your question, this isn’t a cinematic script, no. Another reason why it’s tough to get these types of scripts made.

      • BMCHB

        Mike earned his respect previously. He has credit in the bank.

        Perhaps we should adhere to this: “If you want to break in with a spec script, your first 10 pages BETTER be great’…

      • klmn

        It sounds like you were correct to mention Netflix – maybe shown in two theaters (NY and LA) to qualify for the Oscars.

      • gazrow

        I’m not saying this isn’t a good script but I have to say I was struck by how dry the writing was. There was a distinct lack of “voice” on the page (at least for me).Have to say I was more than a little bit surprised by that! Maybe I’m wrong? Thoughts anyone?

  • Kirk Diggler

    triggered….

    • BMCHB

      The resemblance is uncanny…

  • BMCHB

    Your posts are appearing delayed.

    I DID spot the Sixth Sense twist early on first viewing but watched it a second time to find out was the twist set up or did I just make a lucky guess. It was, brilliantly.

    * This should NOT be a twist movie. Fine as is. It is a lasagna movie with many tasty layers.

    • brenkilco

      I suppose I’m one of the few people who actively loathes the Sixth Sense. You lose count of the number of irritating narrative cheats M Night includes to conceal his twist – that restaurant “argument” really takes the cake.” Most of them subsumed under the lazy mantra that ghosts see what they want to see.

      • BMCHB

        I couldn’t watch it a 3rd time. I did watch it twice. The restaurant argument was when I knew he was dead. I’d seen those kind of twists before done better. It’s a generational thing; wait ten years and then you’ve got a whole new audience [to fool from their money]. :-)

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        I don’t loathe the movie but I do agree with your assessment. I think the reason may be that Shyamalan only discovered this twist something like six drafts in. By that point, everything was definitely in place but that kind of twist also definitely changes everything so that could explain why the conceals feel off or forced or unnatural.

  • carsonreeves1

    It came out of nowhere, too!

    • Scott Crawford

      Blonde Ambition, the number one Black List script? I understand your opposition, but still…

      • carsonreeves1

        If someone reads this and tells me it’s great MAYBE I’ll read it. I’ve always considered Madonna to be a pretty uninteresting person though.

        So, has anyone read this? Is it good? Does it approach Madonna’s story in a fresh way?

        • scriptfeels

          I read it last week and really loved it. I started reading at work, then was thinking of it while I was at the gym excited to finish it. It’s a quick read and it’s a simple story. I’m not much of a madonna fan, but I didn’t want to put it down. I’d recommend it. If you have time definitely pick it up, i’d love to hear your thoughts.

      • BMCHB

        Margot Robbie for Madonna.

        * I know she’s my go to girl recently but Gal Gadot is too tall to play Madonna.

  • BMCHB

    OT: But back to yesterday’s article…

    Wonder Woman did 103.2 MILLION at the weekend in the U.S.! I don’t think it will drop 50% next week so I think it will easily hit 250 MILLION U.S. alone. 400 MILLION Worldwide at least in addition, IMO.

    The thing is, I’ve actually recommended this film to others, I rarely do that anymore, and if others are doing this as well… this might hit 800 million on word of mouth. RESULT!

    See you tomorrow, folks. I’m off to write a new script:

    The Glorious Gayness of Gabriel Gaynor.

    I’ve heard that Carson gives good reviews to gay scripts ;-)

    • scriptfeels

      I saw it yesterday with the gf and i enjoyed it. First decent dc hero flick in a while. girl power yo

  • Dave Lerner

    Not the sort of script I usually read. I’m more into action-adventure, superhero, or horror. So I’m surprised that I actually read the entire script in one sitting.

    Very readable, once it gets started. Great characters.

  • Master John Moss

    Just another friendly reminder not to see ‘The Mummy’ this weekend. Life is too short to waste watching yet another big, shitty studio “product.”

    • Kirk Diggler

      ..and you didn’t even have to mention Tom Cruise.

      • Master John Moss

        I rarely see a movie because of an an actor’s participation in it. ‘The Mummy’ was gonna suck regardless of who was in it. It’s gonna suck because of who’s behind it.

        Tom occasionally gets involved with a turkey, and this is one of those times.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          Well, all you need to do is read the script to not want to watch the finished product :) It’s… ultra light.
          Still, no one can state beforehand that this or that movie is gonna suck. If you don’t want to watch this, fine, don’t go :) But maybe others do because they watch just about everything from obscure indies to bloated blockbusters because, duh, they love movies, plain and simple. We’re supposedly scriptwriters and keeping an open mind is preferable to being judgmental. So what if it sucks? It’s a blockbuster – it only has to entertain and from a pure visual spectacle standpoint, it looks like it does. Story? Character?? The script was the fastest read ever. And definitely got story-boring in its second part. Still, people will go because that’s what people do. But don’t tell people what they should watch or not – we also forge opinions from what we don’t like and most of all, we learn (provided we keep an open mind and the will to accept that we can be wrong).

          • Master John Moss

            Tell you what, if it gets a Rotten Tomato score higher than 50% by 5pm this coming Sunday, I will go and check it out.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Why would you do something based only on other people’s opinion? I never go by the BO nor what people tell me (“Go!” – “Don’t go!”) but only by what appeals to me for whatever reasons.
            If this doesn’t appeal to you to begin with, chances are pretty high that even a a 90% score won’t change your opinion.

          • Master John Moss

            Like anything, it boils down to time and money. I only have so much of both. I have to decide, Do I roll the dice and spend good money watching ‘Baywatch’ or do I stay at home and begin season five of ‘House of Cards’ instead? Hmm… Well, let’s see what people who have seen ‘Baywatch’ have to say.

            And you better believe I’d check out ‘The Mummy’ if it cracked the 90’s. ‘Cause seriously?? Really?? Well, this I HAVE to see now, ’cause I was dead certain it was gonna blow.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Um, yeah, same here what time & money are concerned but that doesn’t prevent me from following myself and not others.
            Let’s just agree to disagree ‘cos this isn’t really going anywhere.

          • Master John Moss

            No, I get what you’re saying. I’ll see what I want. I’m no slave to other’s opinions. But sometimes you really want to heed them, especially when they’re passionate about them. And what am I passionate about? Letting people know that corporate products (i.e movies) will keep disappointing us if we continue supporting them. We vote with our wallets, and I’m gonna take a chance on anything other than what’s being offered up this weekend by NBC/Universal. (Read some Shakespeare? Visit an art gallery? Create my own YouTube video?) I urge all of us here on Scriptshadow to do the same.

      • Justin

        I’m a huge Tom Cruise (mainly MI) fan, so I’m seeing it for him regardless. Definitely not expecting it to be good. If it’s entertaining, it’s a win for me.

        • Kirk Diggler

          I am not. Though I loved Edge of Tomorrow. But I think he lost a lot of fans over the last decade or more for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the Oprah couch-jumping incident.

          • PQOTD

            That. Was. Bizarre.

        • Master John Moss

          I’m guessing it’ll be dull, empty spectacle.

          Tom Cruise’s character won’t have much, if anything, in the way of an inner struggle. Won’t learn anything. Won’t arc. He’ll strictly be focused on overcoming the threat of The Mummy. (When he isn’t squabbling with the token love interest.) And the movie won’t have anything to say about how we, as a society, are living today.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Seriously?? That is what you expect from a huge bucks CGI fest blockbuster?? :D :D

          • BMCHB

            Tom Cruise is an amazing actor. He gets a lot of undeserved stick for his beliefs.

            He’s a really nice and cool guy and he’ll still be great in 20 years time.

            I have a spec[ulative] script that I dream of him doing. I must forward it to AOW under a pseudeonym: Com Truise

          • Master John Moss

            I like Tom, too.

            I also once considered writing a comedy about him called ‘Tom Cruise is Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.’ It was about a screenwriter assigned to write a movie for Tom who gets torn between doing that, planning for his upcoming wedding and being pressured by Tom into doing crazy, daredevil stunts.

          • BMCHB

            If he was a Quaker, or Amish, or Muslim you would not be so blase.

            I know two people that have worked on set with him and he is a gentleman.

            One introduced me to him at a wrap party.

            FRIEND: Tom, I’d like you to meet my friend, BMCHB.

            Tom offers hand and we shake.

            TOM: Great to meet you, BMCHB. Thanks for making it tonight.

            BMCHB: Great to be here. Such a huge fan of your work*

            *I did say that…

            TOM: Thanks, BMCHB. That means a lot. I have to say hello to some friends over there but maybe I’ll see you guys later.

            10 seconds MAX and he was amazing. I don’t like when people take cheap shots at him.

    • Midnight Luck

      “Life is too short to waste watching yet another big, shitty studio “product.”
      — I concur

      • Master John Moss

        Go watch your niece or nephew play soccer instead. Am I right?? Maybe one of the parents on the sidelines will inspire you to write about someone similiar.

        • Midnight Luck

          At this point I’d rather just sit on a bench and people watch.
          WAAAY more entertaining than just about any of the big bloated over advertised shitty studio product coming out recently.

          • BMCHB

            I have a monthly ticket for 22.90e so I watch everything!

            * A normal adult ticket after 6pm costs 13e…

            ** You learn more from shit films than good ones…

          • Master John Moss

            I think we’re gonna agree to disagree on that.

            I’m 42. Seen a lot of summer movies. Seen heaps of shit. I can tell when something is going to be bad, and ‘The Mummy’ is going to be exactly that. Enough. My time has value. Bring on something GOOD. Bring on ‘Game of Thrones': Season Seven!

          • BMCHB

            I’m nearly 34 and you can’t “tell when something is going to be bad”.

            You can assume and you’ll usually be be right but…

            … I didn’t mention The Mummy… so leave me out of this argument.

          • Master John Moss

            But you can!!

            Pay close attention to the variables (Is this an original film? A sequel? A reboot?? Which studio made it? Who’s the director? Who’s the producer(s)? What actors signed on? Who wrote on it? When is it being released? And in how many theatres? What’s the rating? What’s the running time? How far out has the studio allowed critics to see it?), compare these to past productions helmed by the same participants and it becomes clear what level of quality the movie is going to reach. Too many of these things are not tipping in ‘The Mummy’s’ favour. That Russell Crowe has a supporting role in it is a red flag alone. Guy’s been taking some questionable gigs in recent years…

          • BMCHB

            I STILL have not passed a remark about The Mummy!

            You’re the only one that has remarked about The Mummy in this thread!

          • Master John Moss

            Yup. I’m SO DONE with all this recycled shit. Who the fuck asked for it?! We all need to push back against it.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            No, you can’t. I’m… ha, older than you and I will watch anything. And I still can’t tell and have been pleasantly surprised by many a movie that turned out to be pretty good.

            You wear your name well, though… Just beware those high self feelings don’t splash on everybody. They’re already spilling over…

          • Master John Moss

            It really bugs me that guys like Kurtzman and Koepp continue to work on big, high profile projects. They’ve proven that they don’t belong in the majors and need to get sent back down to the minors.

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Ah, good to know I’m not alone :)
            I ended a comment above (or below) to John Moss by saying almost the exact same thing about learning ^^

          • Master John Moss

            Yeah, that’d work.

  • Citizen M

    Finished reading the script. Agree with Carson. It’s really good.

    A couple of observations. Many of the characters have secrets, and we the audience know about them. Actually, we don’t know everything, but we know enough to recognize when a scene is straying onto dangerous territory for a character, and he or she has to wriggle out of the situation somehow. That’s how you make a mundane scene interesting. A routine inquiry about expenses becomes very tense when you know one of the characters is desperate for certain information not to be known.

    Also, I was struck by the number of very short scenes. I counted 162 INT. and 34 EXT. It enabled us to keep track of who was doing what, and moving the story along without a lot of dialogue. Showing not telling. In amateur hands this could have been a very static, talky script. Instead, thanks to the brief scenes, it moved along at a fair pace once it got going. Typical example:

    INT. BASEMENT – CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION – DAY

    Rachel combs through the district archives, plucking dusty old binders from the shelves one by one.

    She steps straight into a cobweb. Gets some in her mouth. Doubles over in a coughing fit.

    It doesn’t mean much out of context, but when you know Rachel is a schoolgirl reporter and she doesn’t realize what secrets are hidden in the files, this brief scene is enough to tell you what Rachel is doing and to ratchet up the tension as you wonder when and how the story will come out.

  • klmn

    OT. Just watched the trailer for American Made. I believe this was on the Black List under the title Mena. I wonder if they dropped the references to Mena?

    Does anyone have the latest script?

  • Spencer

    Who has a link, I’d like to read this…
    Anyone also have the William Goldman script: The Sea Kings? (I’m writing a similar script based on similar subject matter & wanted to read this for inspiration)
    Lastly the early draft of Chinatown featuring narration and extra scenes.

    Thanks.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Posted for no reason.

    • scriptfeels

      I still haven’t had a laugh seeing Seth MacFarlane on screen, I hope this changes my mind though because I still love the first 4 seasons of family guy to death.

    • PQOTD

      This looks like it sorta, kinda could be fun in a ‘Galaxy Quest’ way. It just needs Alan Rickman, but, you know…

  • BMCHB

    I thought it was going to be the VR thing some of my friends are playing… Star Trek: Bridge Something? Something Bridge?

  • Jordan W

    The more description of Tassone I heard the more I couldn’t help picturing McConaughey. I’m sure he’s a great guy but god I think he really suits that sort of sleazy role.

  • Zadora

    Hate to seem shallow, but McConaughey is very pleasing to the eye. Cranston is not. Both are great actors, but since I’m shallow….. :)

    • BMCHB

      John Cusack or Matt Dillon would be my choices. It would be a great role for either.

  • BMCHB

    I still don’t know what that video is…

    Orville was an 80s british bird/puppet. that I loved…

  • Midnight Luck

    This doesn’t sound boring, nor dry.
    This sounds great to me.
    The human condition is the most interesting story we can tell, and this sounds ripe with it.

    I personally think someone like MICHAEL KEATON would be phenomenal. He has the ability. He might be skewed a bit older than the age of the main (villain) character, but still he could pull it off, and it seems right up his alley.

    I still am baffled at who and why Keaton’s THE FOUNDER was shitcanned to after New Years when it originally last summer was going to be one of the BIG Christmas releases.
    Personally I’m a conspiracy theorist (at least about movies) and believe someone(s) didn’t want him to get an Oscar and were trying to make sure another person had the chance, and after he hit it out of the park 2 years in a row with SPOTLIGHT and BIRDMAN, someone was on a path to take him down. I’m sure others will have a different spin on it, but I gotta tell you, THE FOUNDER was one of the best movies of last year, if not THE BEST.

    Speaking of The Founder, it had an entire movie focused on the Protagonist also being the Villain. Ray Kroc was NOT a good guy. I mean he was human, he wasn’t super evil, but he sure didn’t care about screwing over so many people, all so he could be rich and powerful and gain notoriety.
    Basically, he wasn’t your prototypical protagonist. He was hard to like.

    So, in BAD EDUCATION, is the young girl the protagonist?
    If so, why do we hear nothing about her really in this review?

    This is the part that makes the ideas behind this script NOT boring and dry.
    You have the ULTIMATE underdog. A young (very young) girl going up against not only her superiors in school, but adults with more power and money and leverage.

    That alone, to find out how she does it and to see HER story (not HIS) would keep me in it completely.
    I’d love it if they focused more on the young students’ story as the focus. SHE IS the Protagonist. So why sideline her for 1/2 to the majority of the film?

    • Master John Moss

      The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself. – William Faulkner

    • Citizen M

      The young girl is not the protagonist. She’s a nerdy 16-year old who spends her time digging in the archives and making spreadsheets. What if she doesn’t succeed in breaking the story? Nothing. There are no stakes for her. She’s not interesting.

      The interesting people are the adults with something to hide, who will lose everything if the truth comes out, and those who were supposed to apply the checks and balances that are supposed to prevent this sort of fraud happening, who could suffer tremendous reputational damage if their negligence became known.

      No stakes, no movie.

  • successor

    Some of the best film villains ever have little to no character development. Take Clarence Boddicker from Robocop. What do we learn about his past, his family, his hobbies, etc.? Absolutely nothing. His actions and dialogue alone define his character.

    The same goes for John Ryder in the original Hitcher. He’s more of a force of nature than a character. When the kid asks why he’s doing all the terrible things he’s done in the film, Ryder simply says, “You’re a smart kid. Figure it out.” So much for character development.

    • BMCHB

      “You’re a smart kid. Figure it out.”

      Just remembered that line. What a line!

      I’m the a-hole that thinks Heath Ledger’s joker is a joke of a villain so don’t trust me.

      • RO

        You’re not the only one.

        • BMCHB

          My new favorite villain is David Thewlis’ Varga in Fargo season 3. He’s amazing. My casual lover girl puts her eyes behind a cushion when he’s on screen.

          It is a chillingly brilliant performance,

      • Justin

        I thought Heath Ledger’s Joker was brilliant, but I’m curious as to why people didn’t like it (aside from actor preferences and bandwagon hate).

        • BMCHB

          Glad it worked for you.

          It didn’t work for me. TDK, IMO, was just two dressed up mo-fo’s talking to each other with stupid voices.

          • Justin

            I didn’t think The Dark Knight itself was a great movie; in fact, it was only just half-decent. The only thing I enjoyed out of it was Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart’s performances.

          • BMCHB

            There you go. I agree.

            Would Aaron Eckhart be great as Frank? I think so!

            He’d be perfect. Good call/mention. Bit left of field but all the best casting decisions are.

    • Master John Moss

      Clarence is my favourite movie villain of all-time.

  • Spencer

    Who has a link, I’d like to read this…
    Anyone also have the William Goldman script: The Sea Kings? (I’m writing a similar script based on similar subject matter & wanted to read this for inspiration)
    Lastly the early draft of Chinatown featuring narration and extra scenes.
    Also, anyone have the script SMOKE AND MIRRORS that was talked about here years ago?

    • BMCHB

      Link to g drive below, courtesy of Scott Crawford.

      • Spencer

        G drive?

  • scriptfeels

    on pg.28, John boy says “Ma! Help me, ma! They’ve destroyed my All-spark! ahh!”
    What is this a reference to? Is it transfromers?

    • scriptfeels

      So I just finished reading the script. The last page is a crazy twist. I think the strengths this has going for it is that it’s based on a true incident and somehow it makes the characters feel very real and their insane actions somehow relatable and sympathetic in the sense that once you’ve gone too far, it feels like there’s no going back, so why stop the farce? I love the affair angle as well. The main character has a lot going on in his life and like Carson said, making the reader/audience relate to the character as a good guy for the first half of the script made us want to see what happened to him and his criminal companions. The script moves very short giving us almost montage like scenes in the first half from showing frank in london to the various places the school’s money went to. I did feel that I didn’t relate to Pam that much, and thought of her as one of the ‘stupid’ teachers that worked in the school office because of her actions in the story. This is a good drama showing the unraveling of a money embezzlement of a top public school. I haven’t seen that on screen before, so this was fresh in my eyes.

      What was nice was that there were no points in the script that took me out of the read. that screamed amateur or untrue to the characters. It also felt like a movie when we saw them go to Vegas or see how the money was abused as well as the discovery of the truth in the school system.

      [x] worth the read

    • BigDeskPictures

      “Mal. Guy killed me, Mal. He killed me with a sword. How weird is that?” – Mr. Universe. (That’s what came to mind when I read your comment.)

  • BMCHB

    *** Aaron Eckhart should play Frank ***

  • BMCHB
  • Marija ZombiGirl

    Yes… and no :)
    It could work if the “twist” wasn’t spoiled but only hinted at. But that already seems impossible what with today’s trailers being almost three minutes long and basically a summary of Beginning, Middle, End (sometimes even having images from the movie’s climax).

  • Citizen M