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Art School Confidential

Released: 2006

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 1 hr 42 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Starring: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles

From the director of Ghost World and Bad Santa comes this bleakly comic tale of an art student who finds romance and anomie at his new school.

The movie has a decidedly retro feel in its music and construction.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 7 years ago

ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, by GHOST WORLD's Terry Zwigoff, is a strange concoction of weird stories and styles. At its very heart is a sweet love story between Jerome (Max Minghella), a would-be famous artist and a virgin, and Audrey (Sophia Myles), the warm and beautiful blonde model who graces the brochure for the art institute where Jerome is studying. Enjoy this part, since the rest of the mix is mainly an unsatisfying blend of everything from an art putdown to a serial killer investigation.

At the Strathmore Institute, Jerome's painting course is taught by the talentless Professor Sandiford (John Malkovich). He, of course, doesn't see himself that way, believing his work, which consists of nothing but simple triangles, to be downright brilliant. His manner of teaching is to let his students display their new canvases while they criticize each other's potential masterpieces. The movie's on-going joke is that their collective wisdom is outrageously pretentious and all wrong. The most simple and trite pieces of art earn the most praise from the class, while anything displaying any genuine talent is uniformly derided. Most of the "best" pieces are reminiscent of kindergartner work.

The movie has a decidedly retro feel in its music and construction. Don't be surprised if you begin to mistake it for a B-movie from the 1950s.

The story has artists trying to push the envelope by doing things like displaying blood-stained placards that read "Legalize Genocide" and other such off-beat and bizarre slogans.

The cluttered script includes a group of clownish cops, one of whom is undercover, an artist who is an alcoholic and a slob and who lives in a tenement, and one snobbishly successful graduate of the institute. The elements of the plot clash continually, never meshing, so the ending of the film will have you scratching your head. The story is quite understandable, but it is rarely compelling, leaving you wondering what Zwigoff was trying to say or do with this unsatisfying mess.

ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL runs 1:42. It is rated R for "language including sexual references, nudity and a scene of violence" and would be acceptable for teenagers.