James White (2015)

This is no “feel good” film to go see with friends after cocktails. It’s a tale of drug addiction, cancer, shiftlessness, and mental illness. If you’re ok with those themes though, it’s a damn good film with a few scenes that are downright earth shatteringly good. [There are a couple descriptions of scenes that may be regarded as spoilers, you’ve been warned.]

James White (2015)
R | 1h 25min | Drama | 13 November 2015 (USA)

James, a twenty-something New Yorker, struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges.
Director: Josh Mond
Writer: Josh Mond
Stars: Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi

Having seen and reviewed a difficult film just yesterday, I can tell you I went into this viewing hoping for more uplifting media. Fortunately for me, there is that dark food for thought about life but it’s periodically met with positive quotes and wisdom for ones life. The director here is Josh Mond who’s black and white telling of life’s darkness belies his age. There isn’t much here to hang on to regarding hope but we can see the character get pummeled instead of ourselves and that makes it worth learning from.

As James goes through his early life crisis of trying to figure himself out, his mother is dying of cancer. It seemed like an excuse or an incubator for him to postpone really working and/or writing for hire. He goes all the way to Mexico trying to get clarity but it seems to elude him. Does he get what he needs by the end of the film to “grow up?” That’s the conversation topic. I’d say he’s pretty self-destructive and needs proper therapy and possibly rehab. This is a heavy film with amazing acting. Definitely thought provoking.


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