Starting from childhood attempts at illustration, the protagonist pursues his true obsession to art school. But as he learns how the art world really works, he finds that he must adapt his vision to the reality that confronts him.
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
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. Written by
The art college in the movie is based on the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. According the published screenplay, the minimalist paintings Jonah brings to class were painted by author Daniel Clowes when he was a student at the Pratt Institute. See more »
When Jerome's roommate, the fashion designer, is sewing on his machine, it wasn't threaded correctly. The spool was on the bobbin loader, not the spool pin where it should be. See more »
I'm a living cliché just like the rest of these guys. I'm the guy who keeps dropping out and changing his major just because he's afraid he really sucks at everything.
See more »
The "Facts of Life" theme song plays during the final part of the end credits. See more »
Art Film Movie About An Artist At Art School ...Whoa!
Yesterday I went to my local art theater to watch an art film about a future artist attending art school. Whew! I'm glad I got that out!
But lets chat about this art film, shall we? Here we go...
It's got a lot going for it. First and foremost is an impressive script. Obviously the screenwriter, director, producer (or all three) attended art school at some point. And making fun of the people and faculty at such a place is where the comedy in Art School Confidential takes wing. When Jerome (Max Minghella), the main character, begins attending his freshman year at Strathmore Art School, he's quickly introduced to the cliché-riddled cast (the cliché is purposeful and pulled off just as well as the movie GALAXY QUEST). He meets the burned-out art teacher Professor Sandiford (John Malkovich), the beautiful model that every male wants named Audrey (Sophia Myles), the angry lesbian, the teacher's pet/kiss-a$$, the drug addled film student, and a splash of others. There's also a strangler on the loose in the neighborhood which will play a vital role in how Jerome's artistic dreams play out.
The ridiculousness of art school is what really makes this movie work. Jerome is obviously very talented, but other artists whiz by him because art is what the artists say art is. It might be a picture of a car, or a man attaching jumper cables to his nipples and letting current run through him, or a mound of plastic chairs.
Jerome wants to be the next Picasso. He studies hard, tries to get noticed, but nothing seems to work. He's also a virgin and wants desperately to get laid but with the wacked out student body at Strathmore, he's got his work cut out for him.
As Jerome works and works, trying to become a successful artist, we get to watch him fall into despair; he starts smoking, drinking, and visits a washed up Strathmore graduate named Jimmy (Jim Broadbent) who gives him some dark and grotesquely sage advice: "Are you good at 'getting on your knees?'" (I've cleaned that up a bit, but you get the idea.) It becomes apparent to Jerome (and the movie watcher) that he has no chance of becoming a recognized artist ...unless something drastic happens. Which, of course, it does (Cliche? Oh yes!) Once this "something drastic" happens, Jerome learns the true nature of being an artist. It's an unfortunate and incredibly funny set of circumstances that finally thrusts Jerome into the limelight.
The level of casting in this indie film is surprisingly large and notable. In addition to John Malkovich (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH) we see Anjelica Huston (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS), Jim Broadbent (MOULIN ROUGE!), Matt Keeslar (DUNE miniseries), Ethan Suplee (COLD MOUNTAIN), Steve Buscemi (THE BIG LEBOWSKI) and several others.
This impressive cast pulled off the overly-pretentious attitudes that flood many art schools. They were witty yet cynical which made laughing out loud a requirement during the viewing of this amazing little flick.
God I love these little independents when they're done right!
48 of 60 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?