Friday, 22 December 2023 00:14

American Fiction Featured

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Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 4 out of 4 Paws

American Fiction

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 3 Arts Entertainment, MRC Film, Media Rights Capital and Orion Pictures presents an R rated, 117-minute, Comedy, Drama, directed by Cord Jefferson and written by Jefferson and Percival Everett with a release date of December 22, 2023.

When a writer, Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) gets tired of his books not selling well, placed in the predominately black section of book stores and considered mediocre by some, he decides to take a different approach to his next book. Seeing that another black writer, Sintara Golden (Issa Rae), has written a book based on the stereotype of the overall black community and it has sold thousands Monk decides to write his own stereotypical book on black language, crime and punishment. In doing so the book takes flight in avenues Monk has never walked down. One big problem, he wrote it under a fake name, Stagg, and plays it off as a criminal on the run from the law. It doesn’t help the honesty of the circumstance when his manager Arthur (John Ortiz) coaxes Monk on to just go with it all and collect the millions coming in from the sales and rights of the book.

Monk’s family life is one of unjust punishment as he discovers his own personality is not far from his dead fathers. He has a great relationship with his sister Lisa (Tracee Ellis Ross) who happens to be a doctor and his mother Agnes (Leslie Uggams) who suffers from an illness but not so much with his distant brother Cliff (Sterling K. Brown) who has kept a hidden secret for most of his life. Thankfully, Agnes has Lorraine (Myra Lucretia Taylor) to help take care of her in her needs. When Monk goes out to the beach house for personal family reasons, he ends up meeting a neighbor, Coraline (Erika Alexander) that happens to just be getting out of a relationship, making her available for a date. When all this comes together what you’re left with is family, dysfunctional and all.

I tried to not give any major details away about this story but I will say it is hands down amazing. The writing is superb and makes you relate to the story in one way or many whether you’re black, white or gay. The direction is second to the writing but only by a fraction from superb. I found myself relating to so many aspects of this film as a person, being black or white did not matter. It is a film that plays on stereotypes of black and white but in such a way that makes a point but then has you laughing out loud thereafter. This film is one of my favorites of the year and just overall brilliant. As for the acting Wright is fantastic as is every other actor in the story. Ortiz made me laugh several times and is perfect for his role and Uggams although not a huge dialogue she played her part to perfection. There is not one character I did not fall in love with and understand in some way. There are so many lines in this story that captured my heart and made a deep impression as did the acting talents of Brown. No animals in this film to speak of.

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