Art School Confidential
Directed by: Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World)
Written by: Daniel Clowes
Starring: Max Minghella (Syriana), Sophia Myles (Underworld), John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich), Ethan Suplee ("My Name Is Earl")
Rated R, 102 min., 2006.
A nerdy suburban boy named Jerome takes his passion for art all the way to art school in New York City. Things are going along when he meets his muse, a nude model, Audrey. Jerome is challenged, both in school and for Audrey's affection by the jock-like Jonah, when their teacher praises Jonah's terrible, terrible paintings. Jerome becomes disenchanted with the shallow reality of the art world and begins to lose hope, all the while a strangler is killing people on and around campus.
Having gone to art school, I found this movie kind of entertaining and the cliches both scary and realistic, like the teacher more concerned about his career to care about teaching, the shallow pretension, ass-kissers and egotistical bastards. Max Minghella even looks like a Dan Clowes character. Art School Confidential lacks the heart of Zwigoff's previous take on Clowes' work, Ghost World. The murder mystery is rather shabbily put together and shoved kind of awkwardly into the film, until the end, with no real resolution. Jerome just falls into that world, getting success and the girl in the process, but not transcending the shallow stupidity of the art world. He falls in line and becomes one of them, which I guess is more like real life, but with the comic view of the film, I expected something different.
Final Take: 2 / 5