As much as we’d all love too, you can never truly relive your glory days of high school…or can you?
In theatres now; My Old School is a whimsical yet dark true story that you quite simply have to see in order to actually believe it.
In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. What followed over the next two years became the stuff of legend.
This is one of those stories that you’ll find yourself shaking your head at as you lean closer and closer to the screen. This film goes out of its way to make you feel personally connected to it all and with good reason as you’ll see soon enough.
The backstory on this story is rich in and of itself as this story of Brandon Lee was supposed to be turned into a feature narrative film starring Alan Cumming, while fate interceded on that front we’ve still got Mr. Cumming here as he lip syncs the interview from the subject as given to director Jono McLeod.
McLeod does a fantastic job here in his first genuine outing as a feature director to give us something that is vibrant, funny, engaging and entirely fascinating through the use of animation, interviews with his subjects and through the voice of his subject himself who rather unabashedly tells this truly incredibly story. He disarms his interview subjects and really allows then to open up about what happened during this time at Bearsden Academy so we can get something unfiltered and natural that may have been blurred over due to the passage of time.
Alan Cumming standing in for our subject actually gives a masterful performance by never saying a single word throughout the film as we learn just how much he captured the essence of the actual subject just through use of body language and lip sync.
While we are being purposefully vague here in many ways (this film is a hard one to legitimately review as it is rife with spoilers) what McLeod and Cumming have successfully done here is really give us a glimpse into a subject that while on one end is actually kind of sad, you still can’t help but admire his gumption at the exact same time as he pulled off something that could only be deemed as extraordinary in search of his ultimate goals.
The reveal of the magic of it all is saved for the end and deservedly so because at the end of the day My Old School is a film about the reveal and the charm of reminiscing about the school days but also understanding that you can never really recreate them, no matter how hard any of us try.