I love my indie flicks and in the midst of all the summer blockbusters people might like to see something a bit low key. Art School Confidential is exactly that.
The story is about Jerome, a young man from the suburbs who wants nothing more than to be the greatest artist in the world. So he goes to a New York washed up art school where he tries to find his style but more importantly he’s looking for love. Eager and optimistic to make his big break in the art world as the next “big thing”, he soon discovers the darker side to this world when a jock type student gets an immense amount of attention for his crappy artwork (and also gets the attention of a girl Jerome loves).
Up to this point the film is incredibly funny in that witty sort of way but mid through it turns very dark as Jerome grows more and more cynical and desperate, searching for a way to beat the jock and win the girl but not in a cheesy teenager movie kind of way, more like a dark suicidal starving artist kind of way. So basically if you really get the movie you’ll be laughing for the first half and then suddenly become a witness to the destruction of the hero and begin to feel incredibly sad for him. The plot is a lot thicker than that, nothing complex, but enough to make it very interesting.
Meanwhile John Malcovich brilliantly plays Jerome’s teacher who is a failed artist himself but living in denial. The type who pretends his art is not only great but also that fame doesn’t matter to him, when really he’s desperately looking for it in his late age.
But look out for Max Minghella who plays Jerome. This is a breakout performance for him and I thought he did an amazing job playing this role.
So if you’ve ever wanted to be an artist this is the film that takes a look at that world and the people who live in it, even going so far as to take a moment to quickly stereotype every character as the kind of person who end up in Art School.
Probably one of the best indie flicks I’ve seen since Garden State.
Bottom Line: 4/5