tek's rating: ½

Art School Confidential (R)
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This is apparently based on a graphic novel which I've never heard of. Anyway, I thought it was simultaneously brilliant and ridiculous, composed of both realism and surrealism. I definitely liked it, but I also feel no need to ever see it again. To be honest, it's kind of boring, even though I did find it rather amusing. And weird. The kind of thing you sort of have to think about to really get it... which sometimes is the kind of thing I really like, but sometimes (as in this case), it's almost not worth it. But yeah, I did like it. Just this once.

Anyway, it's about this guy named Jerome, who wants to be the greatest artist of the 21st century. He goes to an art school which isn't really conducive to genuine artistry, it seems. Um... he has two roommates who are of no great importance to the plot. One is a filmmaker who kind of sucks. He's making this crappy movie which is based on a local strangler. And the whole serial murder thing is a subplot that becomes important in the end (you kind of can't help wondering who the killer is, it could really be anyone, even Jerome, though that seems rather doubtful). His other roommate seems to serve no purpose to the story at all. Then there's this friend Jerome makes (online I see his name was Bardo, but I was never actually aware of it while watching the movie) in his art class. Bardo has dropped out a few times to start over each semester. He seems to have no idea what he wants to do, but he thinks he has everyone else neatly pegged in some cliche (though he sees himself as a cliche, too). Anyway, he's kind of an ass, but then pretty much everyone in the movie is an ass, except Jerome and Audrey (Sophia Myles).

Ah yes, Audrey. She is a model, and the object of Jerome's affections. They eventually become sort of friends, though never exactly more than that, even if he refers to her as his girlfriend at one point. And she herself seems... like she could be interested, potentially. But there's another guy in Jerome's art class, named Jonah, who everyone thinks is a really good artist (and they all rather hate Jerome, even though he's clearly the best artist there). Audrey gets sort of involved with him, though it never really seems any more definitive than whatever her relationship is with Jerome. Anyway, there's a twist about Jonah which I won't reveal, but it's sort of interesting that... he's not what he seems, but like... he seems like he wishes he could be.

Anyway, I dunno. Everyone seems so phony (again, except Jerome and Audrey). There's Jerome's teacher, Prof. Sandiford (John Malkovich), who is a frustrated failure of an artist himself. Oh, and there's this guy named Jimmy, who Bardo introduces Jerome to. He's kinda nuts, though in a way he makes more sense than anyone else in the movie. You know, the least phony, or whatever. And there's lots of other, minor characters, who aren't really worth mentioning (though there's an art history teacher played by Anjelica Huston, who seems sort of nice and non-phony, and I sort of wish she had a bigger role). I dunno, a lot of minor characters were played by cool actors.

I just... I'm not sure what else to say. Jerome just gets more and more discouraged about his potential as an artist, and about Audrey, and everything. Then there's kind of a twist at the end... I wouldn't spoil it, but it's kind of the most surreal part of the movie. And... well, it's both good and bad and also good. And dark, twisted, weird, funny, wrong, and right. Sort of... sort of this... untruth that works, in my mind, because it's mixed up with a different truth that no one knows about. Or whatever. So... meh. There's a certain poetic justice about it. I guess.

Yeah, this review kinda sucks and doesn't make any sense. But then the movie doesn't make a lot of sense, either. *shrug*


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