• R, 1 hr. 42 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Terry Zwigoff
    In Theaters:
    May 5, 2006 Limited
    On DVD:
    Oct 10, 2006
  • Sony Pictures Classics

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Art School Confidential Reviews

Page 1 of 99
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2013
Man, I wanted to like this skewering of the exploiters who claim to teach art, but the filmmakers didn't trust their own instincts enough, their own vision ... and so added some lame-o bit about a murderer on campus to "liven things up". Too bad. Nonetheless, their are some good performances, particularly Jim Broadbent as the undiscovered artist gestating in murky void, and Sophia Myles as "the muse" (what else?).
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2010
Art School Confidential is a film that is universally panned by many, and appreciated by a small number. The ones who think it's highly aggravating are usually let down by the fact that this was the second collaboration between Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes, who first made the film Ghost World based off Clowes' graphic novel of the same name. Ghost World was disturbing, dark, funny, and full of realism. Art School is much more of a strange commentary on the pretension of art school students. I did like the paradox of what good art is, compared to the fact that good artists are the ones people pay to see. It was a good, insightful look into the politics of the art world, and the tension of the art student, who's only survival is fame, and fame at any cost. I was personally very disappointed at the brand of humor and the lack of follow through on character development. Yes, there are eccentricities, and kookiness to spare, but it is at the expense of the plot and the chemistry between the leads that we must suffer the general annoyances of our main character. I didn't especially hate the main character as many other viewers have in the past, because he's not meant to be personable or empathetic as our protagonist. His fate at the end of the movie is completely believable, even if understandable early in the film. The film has the humor, sexual tension, and lacking characters of the regular slew of indie comedies that sit in the comedy category of the Netflix Instant. There isn't anything new to take away from it, except perhaps a better understanding and appreciation for art and artists, and maybe it will warm your heart to know that this is a love story of sorts. Well, really it's more about obsession and women who would rather be immortalized in paint rather than be a great artist's muse or great love. It's an overly ambitious yet lacking film, and I found it entertaining if not oddly put together.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

August 9, 2009
Cast: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, Matt Keeslar, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Anjelica Huston, Joel David Moore, Scoot McNairy, Ethan Suplee, Nick Swardson, Adam Scott, Jack Ong, Jeremy Guskin, Monika Ramnath, Isaac Laskin

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Summary: When his pure genius goes ignored and a brainless jock tempts his dream girl (Sophia Myles), ambitious art school student Jerome Platz (Max Minghella) sets in motion a brazen plan to become an art world hero and win his beloved's heart. John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Matt Keeslar, Anjelica Huston and Ethan Suplee co-star in Terry Zwigoff's dark comedy about an overachiever who goes to extremes to get the girl.

My Thoughts: "I saw the trailer and was fooled into thinking this was going to be a quirky film with dark humor. Unfortunately all the humor is shown in the trailer and still there isn't nearly enough. I soon became bored with the film and I thought the main character Jerome was annoying and not likable. I love John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, and I also enjoy Jim Broadbent, but their parts are small and not used nearly enough. The big twist is seen a mile ahead and the ending is how you expect it to end. Definitely something I wouldn't watch again."
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2011
An art student pursues a beautiful woman while a killer stalks the student body.
I liked the film's almost oppressively cynical air. Multiple characters remark how the human species should be wiped off the planet, and the art teachers/successful artists pillory the art establishment at will. At the center of the film is an exploration of what art is or should do, and the filmmakers seem to suggest that all answers are wrong.
Also, Sophia Myles is astoundingly beautiful. Her performance is uneven, occasionally the girl next door and occasionally the damaged cynic, but she exudes sexuality effortlessly, and it's easy to understand Jerome's obsession with her.
However, the film is uneven. There is a plot twist that makes little sense, and Jerome's emotional state goes through unexplained peaks and valleys.
Overall, there are flaws in the storytelling, but the film's dark heart is in a unique place, which ultimately makes it worth the time.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2010
Who said anything about talent?

I thought this movie was good and different. It's suppose to be a comedy/drama kinda film, you can see it as you want. The story was actually pretty good and it's what really carried this film. The screenplay at times dwindle far from the main storyline but it wasn't that important. It's not a great film but not a bad one at all, you might like it or not, still not a waste of time.

Jerome, a kid from the suburbs who loves to draw, goes to New York City's Strathmore College for his freshman year as a drawing major. Competition and petty jealousy consume faculty and students, with an end-of-first-semester best-student award held out as a grand plum. Worse, a strangler is on the loose, killing people on or next to campus. The idealistic Jerome falls in love with Audrey, a student who models for life-drawing classes and who responds to his sweetness. But he has a rival: the clean-cut, manly Jonah, also a first-year drawing student, whose primitive work draws raves and Audrey's attention. As cynicism seems to corrode everything, Jerome is desperate to win.
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

July 28, 2011
Professor Sandiford: Now, everyone don't be so hard on Jerome. He is attempting to achieve the impossible. He is trying to sing in his own voice using someone else's vocal cords. 

I've read some negative reviews on Art School Confidential, but ultimately the film has John Malkovich, so I watched it anyway. I'm really glad I did too because I really enjoyed the movie. It was a well developed film that somehow kept me watching. You'd think it would be boring, but it is entertaining and actually fun in it's own way. The movie is weird and that's what it's got going for it. It uses it's weirdness to it's advantage, like most artists, I guess.

All of the characters are eccentric and well developed. Each one has his or her own thing going for themselves in the art world. Jerome wants to be the best artist of the 21st century, but he isn't being well received by his fellow peers. Audrey is a beautiful woman who uses her looks as a model for artists to use in their works. Professor Sandiford is a teacher who like Jerome isn't well received, but he continues to try to make a name for himself. Vince is working on a film about the serial killer who is going around strangling women. These characters are all well played by the great cast the movie has. 

Although not as funny as it could have been, it does have some pretty funny parts. If I knew more about the goings on at an art school, it probably would have been even funnier. Art School Confidential is really an underrated film that has a lot more going for it then people will give it credit for.
Drake T

Super Reviewer

June 5, 2011
Art is a joke.

This movie successfully embodies the entirety of that statement without sacrificing the true experiences of art school. It's all so utterly authentic that it doesn't even need to make an effort to be viewed as a satire.

Minghella's character completely relates, his frustrations, aspirations, expectations resonate in any first year art student. The best part is the ending, that punches you in the face with such raw hilarity!

For the record, I'm an Art College graduate. I get this film.
Red L

Super Reviewer

April 9, 2009
I haven't been to art school, but the jokes about art teachers and students are pretty funny. The movie deteriorates as it goes on, and I didn't think much of the ending.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 5, 2006
Art School Confidential seems to take the art class scenes from another Terry Zwifoff/Daniel Clowes project Ghost World and tries to elaborate on it. The first half was great as it laughs at all the cliches an art school is undoubtedly filled to the brim with. About half to 2/3rds of the way in Art School Confidential tries to develop a tangible plot and that's where the whole thing stalls out. The last 20 minutes is like a really long funeral but it's got a great cast and for a while I laughed a lot. Proceed with caution...
Mark H

Super Reviewer

June 17, 2008
Refreshingly cynical look at the art world and people who take themselves too seriously. Intelligently written. If you've ever looked at Warhol's Campbell's Soup I and thought, "Huh?", add another star.
Bannan i

Super Reviewer

May 17, 2008
Did someone say PRETENTIOUS?
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2007
Perfect comedy of a talent young artist (Max Minghella) who wants to become the world's greatest artists while studying in the art university. Sophia Myles looks so stunning as the young artist's dream girl.
Gx7
Gx7

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2007
This was one disappointing movie. Blfffftt!
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

October 15, 2007
Art School Confidential is about a young suburban artist that goes to art college and finds some flakey room mates, a murderous madman strangling the locals, and the love of his life. The artist finds that while his drawings are very good, they are not what the snobbish art community wants to see. He tries harder and harder to make people like his work to no avail. Eventually he falls in with the wrong person and winds up taking the wrap for some things he didn't do. The acting was passable and the plot was somewhat original. A depressing work with a happy, but twisted ending. If you're looking for some dark humor and some missed life decisions, this is for you.
puffchunk
puffchunk

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2007
Oh gosh, worst movie ever. It had it moments, and I suppose it captures what art school can be like...but I guess that's why I'm not in art school. Seems like a bunch of crappy people.
Christopher M

Super Reviewer

August 9, 2007
I'm amazed how long it took me to see this film, because I am a huge fan of Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowe's last collaboration: the wonderful adaptation of Ghost World. In Art School Confidential they create the similarly quirky world of an art school student, Jerome, as he follows his dream of being a great artist. I'm wondering if this was a comic (or "graphic novel", groan) before it was a movie like Ghost World, because it definitely has that feel. I don't think so, because I haven't been able to find it, but I think it may have worked better in book form. This film tries to be a lot of things at once, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't as well. The whole element of there being a murderer on the campus, and of the ensuing investigation, that really fit in awkwardly with the rest of the film. But, it is a funny movie, and a sweet one at times. The cast is great - I loved seeing Ethan Suplee and Nick Swardson as Jerome's roommates, they are both always hilarious and I love them, but there definitely wasn't enough of either in the film. John Malkovich was cool as always, but although having decent screen time his actual role was kind of minimal - the trailers made it look like Malkovich's character was a much more important part of the film. I am going to need to see this again to give a full opinion I think. I did enjoy it, I recommend to those who loved Ghost World. It has a lot of bright points, and some not so bright, but ultimately a worthwhile experience.
ajaymuthecooldevils
ajaymuthecooldevils

Super Reviewer

October 28, 2006
Still don't get the story so well....
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

June 17, 2006
If your a fan of Zwigoff's previous movies: Ghost World and Bad Santa, then you'll at least enjoy the first half of the movie, it's got the same feel and is fun. The second half is the problem, the movie gets boiled down in it's plot, and it's just not nearly as interesting as seeing the satire of an art school. Still, the movie has funny performances and a lot more good scenes than bad.
Eric B

Super Reviewer

March 17, 2008
A bleakly cynical film which, to its credit, makes the audience ask itself plenty of questions about what is and isn't credible art. I wasn't expecting much more than an "interesting failure" and, indeed, I was ready to declare that verdict throughout most of the film's duration. But by the end, I had reduced my view to simply "interesting" without qualification. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I'd urge you to hang on even if the early scenes come off a bit flat and oddly paced (adding more musical score might have worked wonders).

Intriguing to discover after the fact that the male/female leads are both British. In fact, lead actor Max Minghella has a stunningly rich, erudite voice which sounds more suited for Shakespeare. Or at least, narration for a really snooty car commercial.

Don't skip the deleted scenes on the DVD -- there are a few nice touches, such as the "retards" quip and the exchange where two students discuss their boredom with Audrey's nude body.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

May 31, 2006
[font=Century Gothic]In "Art School Confidential", Jerome(Max Minghella) is an artistically minded high school student which means he simultaneously gets beaten up by bullies while pining away for their pretty girlfriends. Jerome looks up to Picasso, because even though he was ugly and bald, he still managed to attract beautiful women. Along those lines, he enrolls at the Strathmore Institute in New York City to study art after graduating high school. One day, he encounters the beautiful model Audrey(Sophia Myles) in a drawing class. Oh yeah, and there is a serial killer on the loose...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Art School Confidential" is an unfunny comedy about the art world and art school that is full of cliches and caricatures.(For example: a woman of color brings up the "dead white guys" argument in an art history class; a film student seems like a mad scientist combined Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino, "Reservoir Dogs" poster included; and New York City looks like a crime ridden trash bin.) The protaganist, Jerome, is nothing more than a shallow cad. The satire does kick in around the end but even that is ruined by illogic. Sophia Myles does show promise but Anjelica Huston is wasted in a brief role.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]And when would the New York Post ever have a front page story on global warming?[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]If you want to see a funny movie about outcasts and misfits, then I highly recommend "Real Genius", instead. [/font]
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