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Movie Review – American Fiction


To be sure, this movie is daring and provocative.  Done poorly, the film had the potential of being a box office bust.  However, this is a directorial masterpiece by Cord Jefferson which is bolstered by acting performances that could bring any screenplay to life.

The movie is an adaptation of Everett’s novel, “Erasure” (2001) and involves a satirical look at African-American stereotypes and how they are woven into the fabric of American pop culture.  At the same time, there is a focus upon a family that, while being largely dysfunctional, effectively draws the movie-goer’s sympathy.  Indeed, most viewers will be able to recognize family dynamics from their own life experiences.

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In short, the film is about a professor who has had tremendous difficulty publishing a novel which is read by more than just a handful of people.  Perhaps out of spite for the publishing industry or as the ultimate joke, he anonymously writes a book complete with all of the well-known African-American stereotypes.  He is flummoxed when it actually becomes an instant hit, far beyond the success of any of his past novels!  What follows in the story is for you to see and experience such that I am trying to avoid spoilers here.

This movie triumphs in acting, from top to bottom.  The main character, “Monk”, portrayed by Jeffrey Wright is a cynical writer and professor who drives people away through his bluntness and transparency.  His direct insults serve to put a great deal of distance between himself and others.  On a lighter note, he has such a wry wit that leaves the audience laughing throughout the film.  Although his background in film has largely been in supporting roles, he handles the central character role so effortlessly that he should receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.   As for other acting notables, Sterling Brown portrays Cliff brings to life a highly complex character who also is transparent like his brother when he exclaims, “This family will break your heart!” He brings a tremendous amount of humor and levity, even in some of the more serious and tense parts of the movie.  Finally, it was a delight to see the seasoned veteran, Leslie Uggams”, on the screen as the Alzheimer’s-stricken mother of Monk and Cliff.  Having personally had a mother with that cruel disease, I can say with the utmost confidence that her portrayal is no less than exemplary.  In her role, she avoids the one-dimensional stereotypes of those who have Alzheimer’s which is oftentimes seen on the big screen.

On an unfortunate note, I found the ending to be a bit awkward.  Nevertheless, it was clever and entertaining.  I predict that this film will “have legs” such that, through word of mouth, box office returns will continue to rise for the weeks and months to come, especially following the Golden Globes and Oscar ceremonies.  I will be dutifully watching these award shows and prepared to toast the film as it has a legitimate opportunity to land Oscar nominations in Best Actor, Best Director, and, yes, even Best Picture.  These and other potential award “nods” are very well deserved!

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LBeeCat, 05/27/2022

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I go feral for this app. I love it so much and I wish everyone knew about it and used it. It is incredibly useful and I would be devastated if this app ever disappeared. Things I love: 1) the pee times! It’s so handy to know the best time to go and then read the synopsis of what’s happening while I’m gone. I never have to worry about missing the good bits! 2) knowing if there is a post-credits scene or not. This might be my fav feature because I would have missed out on some pretty critical scenes if it weren’t for RunPee. 3) the movie review and viewer rankings. This info has made me watch some movies that I normally wouldn’t and it’s nice seeing things outside of my usual scope. 4) that it’s a small family run business. I love shopping small and it really does feel like I’m part of the RunPee family! If you reach out to them, Dan will personally respond to you and he is so warm and helpful. GET THIS APP AND THEN SUBSCRIBE! It is absolutely worth it and you’ll be using it again and again!

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Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: It was challenging to find good Peetimes because there are a lot of ensemble scenes, particularly with the family (and these scenes are not to be missed, if at all possible). By a longshot, I consider the second Peetime to be the very best. Secondarily, the first Peetime would be my choice. The third Peetime is the least optimal “time to go” of the three.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of American Fiction.

Rated: (R) Some Drug Use | Brief Violence | Sexual References | Language Throughout
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz
Director: Cord Jefferson
Writer(s): Cord Jefferson, Percival Everett
Language: English
Country: United States

A novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment uses a pen name to write a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Twisters, Fly Me To The Moon, Despicable Me 4, A Quiet Place: Day One, Inside Out 2 and coming soon, Deadpool & Wolverien, Borderlands, Alien: Romulus and many others. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today’s blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there’s a new film out there, we’ve got your bladder covered.


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