Art School Confidential

2006 black comedy

Rating: 15/20

Plot: Jerome enrolls in an inner-city art college after high school graduation. He finds that art's a competitive game. He falls for a girl featured in the college brochure, a girl who, luckily for Jerome, does a little nude modeling for the drawing students in John Malkovich's Intro to Drawing class. An arch rivalry forms with another first-year student, Jonah, who seems to be standing in his way romantically and artistically. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose. Oh, snap!

You have to look closely, but there is a brief Charlie Chaplin spotting in this movie.

This is 1/2 of a satirically fun comedy and 1/2 of a really dark satirical downer. Despite some foreshadowing, some dropped hints that things might turn uglier, it was still a little jarring. It forces you to switch the brain on though. So much of this centers on the main character, a straight man in a movie crowded with some more eccentric personalities. I liked the kid who played him, Max Minghella, a guy you almost recognize, then think you're just confusing him with Justin Long or somebody, and then later find out that he was in The Social Network. John Malkovich has a subtly comedic role as a drawing teacher/triangle artist. I enjoy Malkovich in comedies; of course, I think Malkovich actually might think all of his movies are supposed to be comedies. My favorite periphery lunatic is straight from the lunatic fringe, a failed Bukowski-esque artist played by Englishman Jim Broadbent. He's great and gets the best lines--"What are you laughing about, laughing boy?" and "I have to get back to my masturbation," a line followed immediately by The Facts of Life theme song. Despite this being a bit uneven and pretty thematically heavy, I enjoyed this enough to wonder if I really actually liked Zwigoff's Ghost World more than I think I did.


rio blanco racing said...

15????????????????? really??????????? i hated this movie. i forget particulars now, but remember the ending being awful.

Shane said...

Maybe a 14. The acting wasn't bad. And I gave like 7 bonus points for that "masturbating to 'The Facts of Life'" bit.

It's weird that you like 'Ghost World' so much and hated this while I liked this and didn't like 'Ghost World' much at all. We both agree that 'Crumb' is about the best thing ever though, right?

rio blanco racing said...

yeah i thought about the whole ghost world thing. crumb was okay not the best thing ever. i think i gave crumb a 16. he's brothers were sooooo wierd and brilliant.

Frank Zweegers said...

Sounds good.