James White charts the peaks and troughs of a mother-son relationship in the aftermath of bereavement and the throes of terminal illness.
This unflinching film showcases the power of cinema as a tool for social commentary and the telling of intense personal stories. It hinges on the central, compelling lead performance of Christopher Abbott as James – trapped in a listless downward spiral, cannily reflected by the opening sequence of extreme closeups solely on his face. There is no clearly defined beginning, end, or structure; it instead provides a snapshot of a confusing few months, staying realistically messy.
James White is not an enjoyable film, but it amply fulfills its goal in being a piece that resonates honestly with its audience. Committed performances demand further praise on top.
DIRECTOR: Josh Mond
WRITER: Josh Mond
CAST: Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi
SYNOPSIS: An emotional two-hander depicting the struggles of a rudderless and hedonistic son to support his mother and her battle with cancer following the unexpected death of his estranged father.