Liberal Arts: For anyone struggling with post-grad life

Life after college has not turned out the way you thought? You find yourself wishing you were still a student? Then Liberal Arts is for you and its protagonist Jesse your spirit animal. The independent drama is available for streaming on Netflix US & Canada, Austria and Germany as well as Watchever and Amazon Instant.

Liberal Arts (2012): Directed by Josh Radnor; running time 97mins.; starring “Have you met Josh?”, Elizabeth Olsen (the MCU’s Scarlett Witch), Zac Efron (High School Musical), Allison Janney (The West Wing); Elizabeth Reaser ( Twilight).

What’s it about? When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor’s retirement party, he develops an attraction for a young college student who shakes up his mundane and uninspired post-grad life.

What’s it really about? Everyone’s struggle to come to terms with the  disillusioning realization that all those infinite possibilities you thought lay ahead of you after you leave school perhaps aren’t as easy to reconcile with reality.

Pick if:  

  • you’re in the mood for a quiet evening: the film does without thrilling effects; it’s slow-paced and draws on the relatability of the characters by focusing on their respective situations and emotional states
  • you feel like pondering, perhaps even reviewing your life choices and reconnecting with your student-self
  • you have a liberal arts degree – it’ll be a delightful trip down memory lane for you

Most memorable scene: Jesse discovers that Zibby is reading Twilight and starts to lecture her about the shamefulness of reading bad literature.

Most memorable quote: Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret.

Elizabeth Olsen in Liberal Arts
Elizabeth Olsen plays the energetic Zibby

Where do I know her from? You might know Elizabeth Olsen from Marvel’s Avengers – Age of Ultron where she played one of two extraordinarily gifted Maximoff twins. But Mary-Kate and Ashley’s kid sister boasts an impressive list of film experience: having made her on-screen debut as a cult dropout in Martha Marcy May Marlene followed by a stellar performance in Kill your Darlings, a bio-drama about a murder involving the beat poets Allan Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac in which Elizabeth starred alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Jack Houston and Dane DeHaan. And she is hands down the best thing about the esoteric comedy Love, Peace and Misunderstanding. In 2014, she played her  Avengers twin Aaron-Taylor Johnson’s wife (gross) in a remake of Godzilla.


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