Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Welcome to a new installment of WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic movie that we have never seen...until now. This week we take a look at 2006's dark comedy ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL

My mom happened to stumble upon this movie one night flipping through the channels, and I ended up really enjoying it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. First of all, Art School Confidential has some pretty big names attached to it, such as Anjelica Huston, Jim Broadbent, and John Malkovich, which gives the film a certain amount of artistic integrity. This film was directed by Terry Zwigoff, who's also responsible for 2001's Ghost World, which was a great film in its own right.

Here's a quick plot overview for those who haven't seen it. Jerome (played by Max Minghella) has always wanted to go to art school. He actually gets in but realizes that it's not as easy as he thought it would be. Of course, he meets an attractive young lady named Audrey (played by the lovely Sophia Myles) and tries to win her over. Jerome has a difficult relationship with Professor Sandiford (played by John Malkovich), who ends up helping in his artistic pursuits. However, in an interesting twist, there is a serial killer on the loose and that makes things a little more complicated for Jerome and his work.

Jerome's relationship with Professor Sandiford was important because the young student needed guidance from a mentor. The professor said he related to Jerome because it took him a long time for his art to get noticed. He predicted Jerome would face the same predictament. Malkovich does a great job with the role of the frustrated yet misunderstood professor. Jerome also seeks advice from his Art History Professor (played by Angelica Huston).

There are many cool scenes during this movie; but I'm only going to discuss two of them. The first scene was funny yet heartbreaking when Jerome spots Audrey with high school jock, Jonah (who was actually an undercover cop). It was awkward because Professor Sandiford had praised Jonah's art and didn't acknowledge Jerome's work, which caused a sense of jealousy. Jonah's art wasn't even good; but the class and Professor Sandiford loved it. However, Jerome gets the last laugh.

The second scene was when Jerome was introduced to an artist named Jimmy (played by Jim Broadbent). His paintings were creepy and the character came off as a bit unstable, in my opinion. He made comments about the victims of the local killer, called the Strathmore Strangler. His performance was intense and he had ulterior motives when it came to Jerome. Broadbent's performance is one of the main reasons audiences should watch this film.

This was a very well-made film, however it received mixed reviews from critics. The film's director, Terry Zwigoff, had this to say about the film in 2012; "[Art School Confidential] was really negatively received both at the box office and critically. Everybody hated that film. I didn't think it was so bad. At least compared to all that other shit out there, anyway. It was certainly just as good as any film in the marketplace. And I'm not saying it's a great film. I'm just saying it's better than most of the dreck." Rotten Tomatoes holds it at an approval rating of 36% and an audience rating of only 48%.

Art School Confidential was a funny yet provocative film about trying to make it in the art world. Jerome's goal was to be a great artist, which is a very lofty goal indeed. Every artist's dream is to make it big. Does Jerome make it? You'll have to watch the film to find out. 

Lisa's Score: 7.5/10

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