High School

My Old School | Movie review – The Upcoming

My Old School | Movie review

15 August 2022


In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee walked into class at Bearsden Academy ready to start high school in the affluent Glasgow suburb. His classmates were immediately struck by how much older than them he looked. Likewise, his awkward social interactions and impressive knowledge marked him as somewhat of an oddity. Despite his quirks and a past mired in tragedy, the teenager managed to surround himself with a large group of friends as he strove to accomplish his dream of studying medicine.

But nothing was as it seemed. Filmmaker Jono McLeod retells this unimaginable tale with some of Brandon’s former schoolmates and teachers My Old School. Containing animated recreations bursting with personality and charm, this documentary brings a spark of adolescent nostalgia to this unbelievable tall tale.

The first thing viewers will notice is that Lee does not appear in this documentary in person. Rather, his interviews are lip-synced by actor Alan Cumming. It’s all very strange and initially paints the documentary’s absent subject as an enigma. As the story unfolds in unexpected ways, Brandon is only shrouded in more peculiarity as each new revelation raises more baffling questions about the scenario. There is a reason why his face isn’t shown on camera, and it’s more insane than audiences can imagine. However, viewers will need to see the film to find out for themselves.

Alongside the interviews are animated recreations of the events discussed. These sections are full of personality with a fantastic sense of humor that matches their colorful presentation. Caricatures of staff and students tap into that fantastical realm of school rumors and gossip, which fits the premise of this documentary like a glove. McLeod has a knack for storytelling, and part of that is rooted in the way he brings the corridors and classrooms of the Scottish secondary school to life.

Like Tickled and Cropsey, My Old School is one of those documentaries that has a story so far-fetched that it must be seen to be believed. It’s a madcap tale of astronomical proportions; but it’s also an intriguing character piece and a nostalgic homage to our teenage years.

Andrew Murray

My Old School is released nationwide on 19th August 2022.

Watch the trailer for My Old School here:

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