Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Art School Confidential

I don't get why people are generally giving unfavorable reviews to Terry Zwigoff's Art School Confidential. It's a really good film, with great performances by Max Minghella and John Malkovich. The characters all have such personalities that really make you care about them, whether they're set up as a cliche or not (but all of the cliches in the movie are used so well, and for comedic effect, not to fill a character with flat characterization). I know one of the big complaints is that it's an unwieldy cast. True, there are a lot of characters in this film, and doing without a few of them would have probably been alright (his closeted gay roommate, for example), but I had no trouble following the film because of it, and it certainly didn't distract. It was all done very competently. Another complaint is about the serial killer element. I kind of liked having this dark cloud hanging over the campus. It was a small part of the film in the background that kind of blew up as it went along and it was a neat kind of dark humor edge that typically isn't seen in this sort of film. Sure, this may not be as good as Terry Zwigoff's previous comic-based movie Ghost World, but it's a damn good movie nonetheless. I think Dan Clowes should be really happy with his screenplay, whether people appreciate it or not. And hey, two thumbs up from Ebert and Roeper isn't too shabby.

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