Thursday, August 28, 2008

Art School Confidential (2006)

Starring Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, Joel Moore, Jim Broadbent, Matt Keeslar, John Malkovich, Ethan Suplee, et al
Rated R, 102 minutes

Jerome (Minghella) has always aspired to be an artist. His idol is Picasso. Now he’s finally in college to pursue his dream. Jerome absorbs the culture at the direct of two new acquaintances – his would-be film director roommate Vince (Suplee) and fellow classmate Bardo (Moore). Bardo gives him the rundown on how to score art school pussy, as well as an introduction to a washed-up artist living in the slums (Broadbent). This artist makes it clear Jerome should work on some other skills besides artistry in order to make it.

In his quest for some easy poon, Jerome becomes taken with a model for his class (Myles) who becomes taken with Jerome’s rendition of her. However, a new charge with a...”unique” style named Jonah (Keeslar) threatens to take his momentum in more ways than one.

You wouldn’t perhaps guess from my summary that this was a funny movie, but it really was. I laughed at loud as the quirkiness of campus continued to unfold. As things get dire for our main character, the movie takes a distinct turn in tone, but it’s not entirely unwelcome. Things get a bit vague and loose with the storytelling at that point, but it didn’t sap away the good will from the first 80% of the film.


The cast was great. Producer John Malkovich plays Jerome’s teacher, and Steve Buscemi appears as the owner of a restaurant and gallery near the school. Vince’s quest to make a movie, as well as Nick Swardson playing Jerome’s ambiguous roommate, make for nice sidebars while the main story progresses. The humor about art and college (and sometimes those two subjects together) is spot-on and you should laugh if you have passing familiarity with either.

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