American Fiction Blu-ray Review: Will Be Talked About for Years to Come

There are some movies that just come and go, meaning that you watch them once and move on. Cord Jefferson’s blistering and Oscar-winning directional debut American Fiction is definitely not one of them.

Buy American Fiction Blu-ray

A much-needed dramedy about the very flawed and sanctimonious world of books and people who write them stars the always phenomenal Jeffrey Wright (in perhaps his most career-defining performance, which is saying a lot because he has many of them) is frustrated novelist Dr. Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, who is disgusted by the stereotypes that are usually used to undermine the importance of black writers. So, he creates a persona: a fugitive alter-ego named Stagg R. Leigh, penning a deliberately cliched novel that caters to white people’s perception of black writers.

Meanwhile, he reunites with his family, mom Agnes (Leslie Uggams), physician sister Lisa (Tracie Ellis Ross), and plastic-surgeon brother Cliff (Sterling K. Brown), who all have issues of their own. Agnes suffers from dementia, Lisa deals with a divorce, and Cliff, who is newly gay, dabbles in drugs and sex. He then finds romance with Coraline (Erika Alexander), a lawyer who lives across from Agnes’ beach house.

After the novel becomes an unexpected success, Monk unwillingly goes along with it, especially how it can help with Agnes’ mounting medical bills. But, after a while, he realizes that maybe he’s starting to pander himself and wonders if this success is worth selling himself out.

The moral of the film is that no matter how talented and successful people of color are, they will always be back on square one with society. The film expertly exposes that while also being a damn good portrait of a complex black family, one that feels very real and relatable. And the entire cast is fantastic! There isn’t a single false performance throughout.

I’ve never read the novel Erasure by Percival Everett that the film was based on, but I think that American Fiction will be talked about for years to come. It’s one that was made and released at the right time.

Posted in , ,


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search & Filter