director: Josh Mond
opens: November 28th
The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa
It’s all about James.
James White is a young, upper middle class New Yorker, eager to party, easy to anger. He is hard to like, but easy to pal around with. James is a happy drunk, but only for a minute. James is attempting adult life, while his parents are leaving it.
With a wide open world to explore, James is begrudgingly forced into a caregiver roll, suddenly throwing his carefree, priveleged ways upside down. James is a selfish, conniving man, and often makes questionable decisions based on his lifelong lifestyle. This leads to fights, missed opportunities, and relationship conflicts.
The brunt of this brutally honest movie is spent taking care of his terminally ill mother, played with a perfect blend of physical helplessness and mental toughness by Cynthia Nixon. Their’s is a bumpy relationship born out of guilt, stubbornness and blood bonds. As James, Christopher Abbott is terrific, dominating the screen (he is in every shot), eliciting alternating waves of empathy and vitriol for a character as naked as can be.
There are no easy answers, just a string of tough questions. Conflicted human behaviour has seldom been tackled so succinctly on the big screen.
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