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Art School Confidential (2006)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 12 May 2006 (USA)
1:40 | Trailer

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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.



(screenplay), (comic story) (as Dan Clowes)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marvin Bushmiller
Jack Ong ...
Professor Okamura
Monika Ramnath ...
Isaac Laskin ...


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who said anything about talent?


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, nudity and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 May 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akademia tajemniczych sztuk pieknych  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$135,733 (USA) (5 May 2006)


$3,296,916 (USA) (11 August 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The college's name, "Strathmore", is actually a company that manufactures things like sketch pads and tracing paper for artists. Most of the students throughout the movie use products from this brand. See more »


When Jerome visits Professor Sandiford, Sandiford is smoking a cigarette that disappears and reappears between shots. See more »


Jimmy: Jerome, are you exceptionally skilled as a cocksucker? It wasn't a rhetorical question. Are you a great artist when it comes to fellatio?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The "Facts of Life" theme song plays during the final part of the end credits. See more »


References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »


An Artist's Life
by Johann Strauss
Performed by St Petersburg Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Stanislav Gorkovenko
Courtesy of BCI Eclipse
See more »

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User Reviews

Art Film Movie About An Artist At Art School ...Whoa!
22 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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!

54 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Would you ever pose nude? aqib4
From the perspective of an Art student.... Rowi111
a great movie - why has it gotten such poor reviews? drudolph8
Any GOOD movies about the 'art world'/art schools? marteeeni
A bull***t movie Draglu
Lamest. Movie. Ever. youdamnkidsgetoffmylawn
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