American Fiction (2024) Movie: Won 5 Oscar Nominations

American Fiction movie is a delightful satire that has won 5 Oscar nominations in 2024. This comedy film delves into the cultural stereotyping of the Black community in the USA.

This film is based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percival Everett. The American Writer Everett is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.


Trailer of the American Fiction (2024) Movie

Official Trailer – American Fiction (2024) Film – MGM | YouTube.

Synopsis [official] of the American Fiction (2024) Movie

It is Cord Jefferson’s hilarious directorial debut, confronting our (American/USA) culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes.

Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.


Rating of the American Fiction (2024) Movie

FM Rating4.00/5
FM Short CommentsWe loved the way this outrageously funny movie takes a potshot at the stereotyping of the Black community in the USA. The script (based on a novel) offers an insightful and almost fresh take on mainstream cultural things – books, movies, etc. Both the debutante director Cord and the actors like Jeffrey, Sterling, John, Erika, etc. have done a commendable job.
FM Rating – American Fiction (2024) Film

Spoiler Free Review of the American Fiction (2024) Movie

Introduction

Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut is this intelligent but sarcastic commentary film about the dominant social and cultural life in the United States of America. So, as its story goes, the author “Monk”, disillusioned with the establishment’s exploitation of “Black” (African American) entertainment, adopts a pseudonym to pen a novel that thrusts him into the very core of the hypocrisy and insanity he openly despises.

We loved its smart and intelligent script

We think that there are two layers to its astute and bold script.

Agnes Ellison: I'm happy you're not white.
Coraline: Me too.

The first layer focuses on the complex rapport among the members of the “Ellison” the so-called “Black Family” in America. The three Ellison siblings Jeffrey Wright (Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison), Tracee Ellis Ross (Lisa Ellison), and Sterling K. Brown (Clifford Ellison) are high achievers – the Writer and the Doctors. The “Ellisons” – they do not represent how the predominantly “White Community” thinks about the “Black” lives in general. Not only the “Ellisons” are suave, well-educated, etc. but also broad-minded and upwardly mobile.

We are sorry for sharing (spoilers) a bunch of lines from the film here, to give you an idea and a peek into the comedy dialogues in the film. The way this film takes a potshot is by using terms such as “White”, “Black”, “Representation”, “Diversity”, etc. in its script in a hilariously funny way. We are also sharing another amusing dialogue that focuses on the stereotyping of Blacks. The sheer absurdity of the “F**k” book is used as the smart bomb to destroy the world of double-speak, contradiction, double standards, stereotyping, etc.

Arthur: White people think they want the truth, but they don't. They want to feel absolved.

The second layer focuses on the broader understanding and complicated relationship between the “Black” community and the “White” community of the United States. Not to forget how the influential “White” folks (here a book publisher/editor) visualize the “Black” creative people (here a new author) and the subject matter or their art contents.

Here is an excerpt of the lengthy but funny dialogue from the film

Sharing a lengthy dialogue from the film, which focuses on stereotyping (the Black author and subject of his books – the Black community) of the people. In this scene, a renowned (White) book publisher/editor Paula is on a conference phone call with the (Black) author Monk and his editor/agent Arthur.

The dialogue

Paula Baderman:  Hello?
Arthur: Hello Paula!
Paula Baderman: Arthur! So wonderful to hear from you. I hope you are with the man of the hour.
Arthur: I am indeed. He's right here next to me.
Paula Baderman: Mr. Leigh?
Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison: [Speaking as the author "Stagg R. Leigh"] Uh, yeah, this is he.
Paula Baderman: [Surprised] Oh, really?
Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison: Uh, uh, yeah, dammit!
Paula Baderman: [Relieved] Right.
Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison: Mother [expletive]
Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison: !!!!
Paula Baderman: Right, okay, um, yeah, I was a little confused at first.

Not so long ago, we saw actress Miriam Shor (Paula Baderman) play a similar role as the book editor on the hit comedy Younger (2015-2021) series.

The top-class acting by its ensemble actors

It is interesting to note that despite the abundance of jazz tracks featured on the movie soundtrack, none of them are performed by Thelonious Monk. The musician after whom the protagonist Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison is affectionately named. We liked the soft and non-intrusive background music in this film, too. The one-liners in the film are thoughtful too.

Sintara Golden: Potential is what people see when what's in front of them isn't good enough.

Its ensemble cast is led by the subtle yet classy actor Jeffrey Wright. And we loved his act in the film. We also liked the performances by other actors, viz., Sterling K. Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Issa Rae, Miriam Shor, etc. Overall, they all played their part very well.

The conclusion

This satirical comical film uses the “F**k” book smartly. It uses it to take an inventive swipe at the society at large. Namely, the said book hits its targets – the academia, the publishers, the media, and the readers. Now, we wait to see all Oscar awards it will pick up. We think it will be for its script, perhaps. Lastly, we humbly think this is a delicious comedy that must be tasted and devoured at least once.


Key Details about the American Fiction (2024) Movie

GenreComedy, Drama
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Age-restrictionsR (USA)
ReleasedJan 12, 2024 (Theaters)
Feb 6, 2024 (Streaming)
Duration1 hour 57 minutes
WritersCord Jefferson & Percival Everett
DirectorCord Jefferson
CastJeffrey Wright (Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison), Tracee Ellis Ross (Lisa Ellison), Sterling K. Brown (Clifford Ellison), John Ortiz (Arthur), Erika Alexander (Coraline), Leslie Uggams (Agnes Ellison), Myra Lucretia Taylor (Lorraine), Issa Rae (Sintara Golden), Miriam Shor (Paula Baderman), etc.
DistributorMGM
About – American Fiction (2024) Film

Poster of the American Fiction (2024) Movie

American Fiction (2024) Movie Poster
American Fiction (2024) Movie Poster

Awards – Winners/Nominees – American Fiction (2024) Movie

It is the first film from Orion Pictures and MGM to win the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Names of the AwardsNames of the Awards Winners/Nominees
Academy Awards, USA 2024 Nominee – OscarBen LeClair, Nikos Karamigios, Cord Jefferson, & Jermaine Johnson – Best Motion Picture of the Year
Cord Jefferson – Best Adapted Screenplay
Jeffrey Wright – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Sterling K. Brown – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Laura Karpman – Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
BAFTA Awards – 2024 NomineeCord Jefferson – BAFTA Film Award – Best Screenplay Adapted)
Golden Globes, USA – 2024Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy – Nominee Golden Globe
Jeffrey Wright – Nominee Golden Globe – Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Critics Choice Awards – 2024Best Picture – Nominee – Critics Choice Award
Cord Jefferson – Winner – Critics Choice Award – Best Adapted Screenplay
Jeffrey Wright – Nominee – Critics Choice Award – Best Actor
Sterling K. Brown – Nominee – Critics Choice Award – Best Supporting Actor
Best Comedy Movie – Nominee – Critics Choice Award
Awards – American Fiction (2024) Film

Featured Image & Poster of the American Fiction (2024) Film | Pics. Credit: MGM


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