My Old School. Quick Review. (FULL SPOILERS)

This documentary has been building a lot of buzz in the Scottish independent cinema scene since it debuted. The kind of stranger than fiction piece, that’s the bread and butter of people who watch these things for the insane twists and turns. On that level, My Old School is a solid entry into this genre but perhaps Has been done no favours by getting a major theatrical push. It’s a BBC Scotland production and despite a level of endearing scrappiness, it belongs nowhere near a cinema outside of the festival scene. For those that like this tone within documentaries this is decidedly worth your time. To say anything more about it would be revealing the secrets best left unspoiled on first viewing. A broader discussion occurs below the rating but if you want to dip out of this review now take the number below as a definite recommendation.
A talking head piece related to the case of Brian McFadden. A con man and failed medical student who is committed enough to his professional dreams that he enrols back into his old Glasgow secondary school under the false identity of Brandon Lee ( not that one.) He attempts to fool both the school and potential universities after ageing out of the possibility of obtaining a medical degree. Directed by one of Lee/McFadden’s former classmates the reminiscence and recollections of the story are engaging and entertaining. These are complemented by animated segments that may showcase the piece’s limitations in some ways but do offer a level of distinction between this and other films of its nature. The one other major selling point is to get around the main subject not wanting to be interviewed on camera Scottish national treasure Alan Cumming is drafted into lip sync McFaddens audio interviews. This works remarkably well. Not only is Cumming committed to the act of delivering the performance in this way but the storytelling is far more immersive The thought That the main subject did not want to participate on camera quickly fades from memory ( at least from this viewer.) The full package might not be the absolute revelation some of the Scottish-focused marketing wants to focus on. Thankfully those that like this variety of narrative-focused documentaries will find something worthwhile here.

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