TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘American Fiction’

Posted in TIFF 2023 by - September 14, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘American Fiction’

Cord Jefferson’s adapts Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, entitled American Fiction. It is a brilliant satirical look at American culture and the white guilt complex amongst other topics. The movie boasts incredible performances but specifically that of Jeffrey Wright. He manages to carry every single scene he is in.

The movie focuses on Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) who hasn’t been able to publish a new book in quite some time. And thus, he’s growing increasingly frustrated by the situation. He ends up going back home with his mother, Agnes (Leslie Uggams). Also there is his sister Lisa (Tracee Ellis Ross) and brother Clifford (Sterling K. Brown).

While back in his home of Massachusetts, a new book by newcomer Sinatra Golden (Issa Rae) debuts at the top of the charts. Critics herald it as an authentic look at African-American culture. He thus tries to pull a fast one on his American publishers. He creates a pseudonym and writing something so against his beliefs but in the vein of Sinatra’s book and things end up spiraling out of control.

What makes American Fiction so great are simply brilliant performances that create the world for the film. Credit is also due to the masterful script Cord Jefferson who delivers some brilliant direction. His influences are clear throughout the film, but the best comparison that can be made is a combination of Ruben Ostlund and Boots Riley, as the film feels like a combination of The Square and Sorry to Bother You.


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My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep. Feel free to interact me at @Dubsreviews
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