The satirical comedy Art School Confidential features Jerome Platz (Max Minghella) as a student at a prestigious Manhattan art college who discovers that it’s not the paradise he dreamed it would be. His classmates lack taste and imagination, his instructors are competitive and self-involved, and everyone is focused on the promise of a glitzy career rather than on education. Jerome himself gets caught up in these misplaced priorities.
It’s a tantalizing subject for a movie, and some of the details are quite funny, like the clumsy efforts of one classmate to construct an installation around himself. But the movie, collaboration between director Terry Zwigoff and graphic novelist–turned–screenwriter Daniel Clowes, has a wobbly tone and ends up shooting itself in the foot.