I didn’t really know what to expect before I started watching this movie, My Old School. I didn’t really do any reading about it other than that it was set in the 90s and that it starred Alan Cumming. As I started watching it, I realized this was a documentary and I wasn’t sure if I would even finish the movie. I wasn’t sure if it would be worth my time. However, it ended up completely engrossing me in the bizarre stranger-than-fiction story.
I was hooked pretty quickly, and when I thought that the story couldn’t get even more insane, it totally did. The movie tells the true story of a 16-year old named Brandon Lee, who enrolled in Bearsden Academy and made a ton of teenage friends. The thing was, 16-year-old Brandon Lee was actually a 32-year-old man named Brian MacKinnon!
The film tells the story of how he actually managed to pull it off, and he even claimed to have mind control! The film also features interviews with the people that he made friends with during this time that he was fooling everyone. It’s completely insane! I was never familiar with this story, and it’s a great one that will entertain anyone who decides to watch it.
Just to give you an idea of how crazy the story gets, when Brian MacKinnon was playing Brandon Lee, he made a friend with a real 17-year-old teen named… Brian MacKinnon. They have the same name, and he was like a shadow of himself from when he was a teenager! It’s complete madness! You can’t make this stuff up!
He also starred in a high school production of South Pacific, in which he kissed a 16-year-old girl, which is 100% socially unacceptable and, as you imagine, totally uncomfortable. There’s a scene where the girl he kissed, all grown up, watches the scene after years of not quite remembering how things went down, and as you might imagine, she was in shock and speechless.
The story is told through interviews, and the scenes that were set in the 90s are animated. Brandon Lee aka Brian MacKinnon was not in the film. His story was told by actor Alan Cumming as he stepped into play him.
This is a great and entertaining movie that is a must-watch if you get the chance! If you enjoy watching strange and awkward movies, this is going to be a treat for you.
Here’s the description from Sundance:
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 would become the stuff of legend. Brandon had been privately tutored in Canada while he accompanied his mother, an opera diva, on tour before her tragic death. The preternaturally bright student surprised teachers by blazing toward his goal of entering medical school, displaying a wealth of knowledge beyond his years. Brandon found friends despite his initial awkwardness. He took bullied students under his wing, introduced classmates to seminal retro bands, and even starred in the school’s production of South Pacific. But then his unbelievable secret was revealed.
Filmmaker Jono McLeod returns to his old school for a nostalgic look at the strange but true story of his former classmate, Brandon Lee. Utilizing playful, period-specific animation, a pitch-perfect soundtrack, the memories of students and teachers, and the talents of Alan Cumming to bring the tale to life, My Old School offers more than one surprise along the way.