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Art School Confidential
Art School Confidential
Actors: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Matt Keeslar
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2006     1hr 42min

"Art School Confidential" follows talented young artist Jerome Platz (Max Minghella) as he escapes from high school to a tiny East Coast art school. Here the boyish freshman's ambition is to become the world's greatest art...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Matt Keeslar
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Creators: John Malkovich, Jamie Anderson, Barbara A. Hall, Daniel Clowes, Lianne Halfon, Russell Smith
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, School Days, Drama
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/10/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 8
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA
Reviewed on 12/16/2013...
Art School Confidential is the story of a young man who has dreamed of being an artist since he was a kid idolizing Pablo Picasso. In high school, he finds a brochure for an art school and thinks all of his dreams are about to come true. Once, there, he finds the classy school in the brochure is in actuality a low-rent school located in a sleazy part of town at the center of a serial killer scandal. That doesn't stop him from trying to live his dreams and even meeting and falling in love with the art model of his dreams. Unfortunately, his teacher barely notices him while being fascinated with a student of questionable talent. Our "hero", Jerome begins a downward spiral as his art is ignored and the girl of his dreams not only just considers him a "friend", but focuses her affections on his worst "enemy", the questionable artist. His only inspiration is a burned out artist in hate with the world.

Art School Confidential is an entertaining film that pokes fun at the art world while managing to juggle a murder mystery and a love story. It's pretentious while poking fun at pretentiousness. The tone of the film at times shifts too much with all of the different bit characters that come and go throughout. But, overall, it's fun and takes a nice dark turn toward the end that keeps it from being a cliché in and of itself. If you're a fan of films such as Ghostworld or Rushmore, you'll probably like this quirky film.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Meg B. (Megatron)
Reviewed on 7/20/2009...
Quirky off-beat comedy that will ring true to anyone who went to art school or just dreamed of going. Art school is a nest where soft blossoming creative types mature and bloom into something more, while others wallow in vain disillusionment. This feature was directed by genius Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World) who knows his art kids well. It’s an amusing romp that’s highly recommended. Oil paints, beatnik girls and murder, what more could you ask for in a comedy?
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dee W. from EDMOND, OK
Reviewed on 4/16/2009...
Fun parody of Art School mixed with a twist. Malkovich is great as the Art Instructor.
Also has Angelica Huston, Sophia Myles from Tristan and Isolde.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Snarky Little Film with Contempt for Pretension
Mark R., Whittington | Houston, Texas USA | 05/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jerome, the ackward, teenaged charecter, spends the first few minutes of the film getting the crap beaten out of him by various bullies. He also can't get laid because, as he puts it, he has high standards. But he has a bigger problem. He wants to be an artist, indeed the greatest artist of the 21st Century. A fine ambition to be sure, but Jerome seems to be more in love with the idea of being an artist than creating art. And that's kind of a paradox, because he's the only person depicted in the film who creates pieces that are worth looking at. His style is somewhat akin to the doomed Jack Dawson from that slightly bigger film, Titanic, rather than that of his idol, Picasso.

Jerome goes to a pretigious, northe eastern art school in hopes of picking up a few grains of wisdom that will help him to fullfill his ambition. The problem is that most of his fellow students and many of his teachers are either pretenders or insane or both. Then he runs into the age old problem of it's not what you know but who you know. Through in a beautiful artists model (the only female worth getting intiment with), a serial killer, and a fiendish plan to become the greatest artist of the 21st Century (or at least the current fashion of this season), and you got a delightfully, snarky little movie that makes the viewer laugh at everything and everyone in it with a mixture of contempt and astonishment."
Art Film Movie About An Artist At Art School ...Whoa!
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 05/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Yesterday I went to my local art theater to watch an art film about a future artist attending art school. Whew! I'm glad I got that out!

But lets chat about this art film, shall we? Here we go...

It's got a lot going for it. First and foremost is an impressive script. Obviously the screenwriter, director, producer (or all three) attended art school at some point. And making fun of the people and faculty at such a place is where the comedy in Art School Confidential takes wing. When Jerome (Max Minghella), the main character, begins attending his freshman year at Strathmore Art School, he's quickly introduced to the cliche-riddled cast (the cliche is purposeful and pulled off just as well as the movie GALAXY QUEST). He meets the burned-out art teacher Professor Sandiford (John Malkovich), the beautiful model that every male wants named Audrey (Sophia Myles), the angry lesbian, the teacher's pet/kiss-a$$, the drug addled film student, and a splash of others. There's also a strangler on the loose in the neighborhood which will play a vital role in how Jerome's artistic dreams play out.

The ridiculousness of art school is what really makes this movie work. Jerome is obviously very talented, but other artists whiz by him because art is what the artists say art is. It might be a picture of a car, or a man attaching jumper cables to his nipples and letting current run through him, or a mound of plastic chairs.

Jerome wants to be the next Picasso. He studies hard, tries to get noticed, but nothing seems to work. He's also a virgin and wants desperately to get laid but with the wacked out student body at Strathmore, he's got his work cut out for him.

As Jerome works and works, trying to become a successful artist, we get to watch him fall into despair; he starts smoking, drinking, and visits a washed up Strathmore graduate named Jimmy (Jim Broadbent) who gives him some dark and grotesquely sage advice: "Are you good at `getting on your knees?'" (I've cleaned that up a bit, but you get the idea.)

It becomes apparent to Jerome (and the movie watcher) that he has no chance of becoming a recognized artist ...unless something drastic happens. Which, of course, it does (Cliche? Oh yes!)
Once this "something drastic" happens, Jerome learns the true nature of being an artist. It's an unfortunate and incredibly funny set of circumstances that finally thrusts Jerome into the limelight.

The level of casting in this indie film is surprisingly large and notable. In addition to John Malkovich (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH) we see Anjelica Huston (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS), Jim Broadbent (MOULIN ROUGE!), Matt Keeslar (DUNE miniseries), Ethan Suplee (COLD MOUNTAIN), Steve Buscemi (THE BIG LEBOWSKI) and several others.

This impressive cast pulled off the overly-pretentious attitudes that flood many art schools. They were witty yet cynical which made laughing out loud a requirement during the viewing of this amazing little flick.

God I love these little independents when they're done right!"
"The problem is never "selling out," but learning how to "bu
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Sly, acerbic and totally irreverent Art School Confidential has fun skewering the world of art colleges, offering up a delectable mix of characters. The film exudes a peppy confidence with director Terry Zwigoff's and Daniel Clowes - who wrote the script - obviously having a lot of fun satirizing this institution of higher learning.

The film however, especially during the last half, tends to lose its way a bit with multiple subplots, involving a campus murderer and it becomes a mishmash that isn't particularly hard to follow, but doesn't really pack the caustic punch of the first act.

The shy, sensitive and totally virginal Jerome Platz (Max Minghella) is totally stoked to have a place at the Strathmore Art Academy. A Picasso aspirant from the New Jersey suburbs, Jerome enthusiastically enrolls in the school only to have his obvious talent - he's the only one in the class producing anything recognizable as art - not just disregarded, but mocked.

Jerome's cynical and preoccupied Professor Sandiford (John Malkovich) who supervises him in the life-drawing class is more concerned with promoting the work of class hunk and obvious art dunce Jonah (Matt Keeslar), who also impresses the students and faculty with his flashy but rather unsophisticated paintings.

But Jerome also has a romantic cross to bear. He has a desperate crush on life model Audrey (Sophia Myles), yet he feels as though he just doesn't meet her standards, especially when she starts courting Jonah. As you might expect, Jerome ends up completely cynical about romance, relationships and the art scene, and his place in it.

Encouragement comes in the form of his wise mentors in Professor Sandiford and the washed-up, alcoholic and profanity spewing Strathmore graduate Jimmy (Jim Broadbent). Jerome eventually pays the ultimate price for artistic notoriety and at first he fails miserably to get noticed despite his being more talented than anyone in the class, including Professor Sandiford.

It is only when Jerome begins cheating and stealing others' work that he starts getting the attention that invariably leads to success. This fame, however, comes at a price and he ends up becoming the prime suspect in a series of series of murders taking place around the campus.

Max Minghella is very good in the role of Jerome and he instills his character with just the right amount of boyish innocence and "straightness" that indeed makes him look like a fish out of water amongst all the bohemians. But at times he's so innocuous and demure that he tends to get lost amidst all the ribald, particularly when he's up against the inherently funny Ethan Suplee as Jerome's blowhard roommate.

The true scene-stealers, however, are Mr. Broadbent and Mr. Malkovich, who give the funniest and most sardonic performances in the film. Malkovich's droll and deadpan interpretation of the role of art teacher underscores the movie's absurdity. Nobody is better at playing haughtiness and self-importance - Sandiford is far more concerned with propping up his own failing career that worrying about his students.

Jim Broadbent also has some marvelously cockamamie moments as he swigs down booze and yells lewd epithets to Jerome. This art school seems to be existing on borrowed time - the students are zany and the teachers look tired and lack commitment, and distain pretension; it's world in which catastrophes are commonplace, and true talent is not properly appraised, and where the problem is never "selling out," but learning how to "buy in." Making it is all that matters. Mike Leonard October 06.