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Art School Confidential

Director:  Terry Zwigoff
Year Released:  2006
Rating:  1.5

Nasty and bitter look at art school, which starts off with a twinge of smugness and ends in a state of grotesque contempt: everyone is looked down upon, from the budding art student (Max Minghella) who dreams of fame to the drunken failure who advises young artists to become skilled in fellatio (Jim Broadbent) to the nasty instructors of the fictitious art school (led by Triangle-Obsessed, sexually ambiguous John Malkovich) to the film auteur trying to lens his opus (Ethan Suplee), and so on down the line. I'm not going to say art school isn't worthy of some kind of disdain, but at least with Zwigoff's earlier pictures there's a little humanity amidst the dust and rubble (say what you will about Billy Bob Thornton's character in Bad Santa, but there was at least 7-10% human in that oversized, stained red get-up of his). I'm not sold on Minghella as an actor - I don't buy his 'introspectiveness' - and Sophia Myles is cute but flat; Suplee, as the film student (there are echoes of Kevin Smith in his appearance), steals his scenes. There you go: try out Film School Confidential next. Why not?

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