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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'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 »


Professor Sandiford: Now, everyone don't be so hard on Jerome. He is attempting to achieve the impossible. He is trying to sing in his own voice using someone else's vocal cords.
See more »

Crazy Credits

An extra scene featuring the actors in Vince's film is shown after the credits. See more »


Features The Facts of Life (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

Great film- fun, exciting, fascinating, and keeps you pleasantly off balance
15 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First off, let me just say how much I love Max Minghella. I saw Bee Season at a film festival a while back and straight off knew he was going to do fantastic things with his career. So far he's proved me right.

I have been anticipating Art School Confidential for a long time. I found out about it through the IMDb, and as a big fan of Zwigoff's previous work, I was really looking forward to seeing what he was going to do with the fabulous cast he had assembled (Malkovich, Huston, Buscemi, etc). The movie did not disappoint.

The beginning of the film is about what I expected- cute, off-beat story about a talented geek who goes to art school and pursues the girl of his dreams. And then it got dark. And then it got very dark. And then it got extremely dark. I soon realized I had no idea where it was going to take me next, and that excited me. The 'mystery' aspect of the movie is brilliantly done as well- it keeps you just well informed enough that you have about a 50/50 chance of figuring it out preemptively, and you'll always realize what's going on just when you need to.

I have read reviews that called Art School Confidential misanthropic, among other things. I disagree. It has misanthropic aspects, misanthropic characters, but overall I found that it ended on an expressly positive note. I absolutely loved the ending. Five minutes before it ended, I wasn't sure how it was going to end, and that, in my opinion, is the best way to do it. Zwigoff's direction is also very impressive. There's a distinct difference in the atmosphere throughout- it starts out looking and feeling sunnier and lighter, and as Minghella's character becomes darker, so does the look of the movie. Just one of those little things that adds to the overall experience.

Art School Confidential thoroughly covers ground that Ghost World touched on briefly- namely, the line between art and BS. It is clearly a subject on which Terry Zwigoff has a lot to say, and he says it very eloquently. The cast is great, the music is great, the direction is great. Go see it. And let me say again... I love Max Minghella. Here's hoping he doesn't turn to stupid teen flicks to pay the bills.

59 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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