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“American Fiction” Review

American Fiction: Directed by Cord Jefferson. With Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander. A novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment uses a pen name to write a book that propels him into the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

As I’ve found myself in a state of full time unemployment, I’m going to be hitting some of these less actiony movies via my A-List subscription, after all, why not? This entire week had me seeing three movies that I would have normally waited until streaming or purchasing was available, so it was an interesting experience seeing these in the theater, it’s definitely the better option of the two. For two of the three movies I was actually the only person in the theater for their showings, which is a hell of a way to see them if you can swing it.

The trailer for “American Fiction” made me feel this was going to be more of a comedy than it actually was, but the comedy that was present was refreshingly mature, realistic and not at all like the humor that normal ends up in films. Perhaps it’s my own experiences with recent cinema, but it was a pleasure to watch the exceptionally emotional moments of a critically successful author fail to appeal to the general public until he wrote a performance piece that in his mind was senseless drivel that no one in their right minds would want to read, but it turns out that he underestimated the general sense of a racist society that tries to not be racist but still comes off as trying too hard and focusing on the wrong things. That story is taking place all while the “real world” stuff happening off the page and on the screen was some of the most fantastically depressing and realistic family drama that I’ve gone through myself and while it was painful to see it on the screen, I felt like the family I saw on the screen was much like my own, sans the gay brother diving into pools of cocaine as a part of his coming out experience. The struggles of personal identity vs public perception is a familiar one.

This isn’t necessarily an experience that is enhanced by the big screen, but if you get a chance to see “American Fiction” I wouldn’t pass it up.

Buy On Amazon!

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