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American Fiction (2023)

Comedy | 117 minutes

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Duration: 117 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Cord Jefferson

Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross and Issa Rae

IMDb score: 7,6 (29.140)

Releasedate: 10 November 2023

American Fiction plot

Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison is a frustrated writer fed up with the tired and offensive tropes used by the establishment who profit from 'black' entertainment. To make his point, Monk uses a pseudonym to write his own book on the subject. Inadvertently, this drives him to the heart of the hypocrisy and madness he claims to despise.

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Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison

Agnes Ellison

Clifford Ellison

Sintara Golden

Wiley Valdespino

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8114 messages
  • 4612 votes

I also enjoyed this American fiction. A film about an academic book writer whose books are hardly read by anyone, except for a very selective niche audience. He is irritated by the cheap mainstream literature of mediocre quality that sells like hot cakes, especially when the subject is the black community, which he believes is portrayed in a stereotypical and negative way simply to score points.

A great Jeffrey Wright here as a grumpy know-it-all writer who also doesn't have the best relationship with his family. No bickering among themselves, but a kind of "out of sight, out of mind" relationship, although that quickly changes with the subplot in which his mother has Alzheimer's. It is also a socially critical note on healthcare provision in the United States.

The movie has some great scenes and fun moments. I immediately thought the opening scene was spot on when he got into a discussion with his student(s), the management/parents and then his manager. It is the mistake that many make within the woke process to disconnect charged terms and persons from the context and zeitgeist in which they originated, but to weigh them in and with the current moral vision of society.

But the whole process of Monk and the commercial merry-go-round he finds himself in by writing for a large audience is also very interesting and funny. The comparison with Johnny Walker was therefore apt. It's amazing how some publishers or reviewers eat out of your hands when they see the dollar signs in their eyes. Nice how Monk responds to this further. Nice!

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Daniel Raedts

Daniel Raedts

  • 10 messages
  • 6 votes

"Brilliant 'nonsense' satire'

On a relatively light yet poignant note, director Cord Jefferson makes his directorial debut with 'American Fiction'; a satire about the 'perfect assumption'. Jeffrey Wright shines - as almost always - as writer Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison who, in a cynical and contemplative tone, (re)considers his relevance as an author and holds a mirror up to the masses (or his environment) and himself. 'American Fiction' does not seek exaggerated or higher pretensions, does not push a message 'in your face' and therefore remains a film with its heart in the right place. Simply a pleasant tragicomedy of a nowadays rare kind in which social criticism regarding stereotyping is presented effectively and cleverly. This makes it accessible to a larger target group and highly recommended!

It is also a credit that the cast - down to the smallest supporting roles - is brilliantly cast. Wright has rightly been nominated for an Oscar, as has Sterling K. Brown as his gay brother.

Hopefully Amazon MGM will grant 'American Fiction' a small release in Dutch cinemas and it will not be skipped like 'Saltburn'.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Fortune


  • 4063 messages
  • 2519 votes

I love satire, but the satire here is often too thick. I'm a reader and I don't think any of the books listed here exist. That's why I don't understand the satire. At one point the main character says that the title of the book could also be 'fuck,' and the publisher agrees with that too. I don't find that funny and even cheap humor. That could literally have been written by a child. Haha, fuck.

In addition, there is plenty to enjoy and it is a unique mix of comedy, satire and drama. I understand the film, the milking of black suffering in art. Only these books don't exist and that's why I don't think the satire is very good. I think the ending is good and there are beautiful and funny moments in between, like those old people getting married who always put a smile on your face when they appear on screen. Ultimately, it's a bit of a weird mix of everything.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original