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James White is a powerful new drama entering on the troubled title character, played by Christopher Abbott, an exciting young actor known recently for his work on the TV series Girls, and in the superb 2011 indie movie, Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene. After an impactful debut at Sundance earlier in the year, the film arrives in the UK at the BFI London Film Festival, with it firmly wedged in the Love category. Told from an almost first-person perspective, the story begins in his native New York City, where it immediately becomes apparent that White’s father has recently passed, and the young man isn’t coping particularly well with it, or life in general. As well as grieving his father’s death, White also has his mother’s battle with cancer to contend with. With the treatment affecting her memory, »
- Paul Heath
The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and the desperately unlikable central character always keeps the audience at arm's length.James White is a fuck-up, a rich kid from the upper west side of New York City, who has never taken responsibility for his life or anything that he's done. After living most of his life hedonistically indulging himself on his parents' cash, James is thrown into a tailspin when his long-absent father dies, and his mother's cancer relapses.Josh Mond steps into the director's role for the first time here, while Borderline Films co-founders...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
★★★☆☆ The guys at Borderline Films are making something of a habit of striking, complex psychological dramas such as Antonio Campos' After School and Simon Killer, or Sean Durkin's excellent Martha Marcy May Marlene. The third member of this cinematic triumvirate is Josh Mond who having served as producer on the aforementioned films makes his directorial debut with James White (2015). A rigorous and austere drama, it's ostensibly a coming-of-age movie, albeit on in which the catalyst for change is the crippling cancer of the protagonist's mother. Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon both give splendid performances, lending clear-eyed tenderness to this maternal bond.
- CineVue UK
"So I'm just going to come right out and say this - you're a mess." The Film Arcade has debuted the official trailer for James White, a film that premiered at Sundance this year to some raves from a few of my critic friends. From the same guys who made Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer previously, this directing debut of Josh Mond tells a story about a New Yorker "that explores loss and the deep relationship between a mother and son". Co-starring Cynthia Nixon, Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, Ron Livingston and Makenzie Leigh. This starts out a bit odd, but the end of the trailer actually makes this worth seeing. Here's the first official trailer for Josh Mond's James White, originally from Yahoo: A coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker (Christopher Abbott) struggling to take control of his reckless, self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges. »
- Alex Billington
After generating buzz at Sundance this year, indie drama James White will be making a stop at Tiff and has finally received a trailer. Directed by Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer producer Josh Mond, the film stars Christopher Abbott as the title character and Cynthia Nixon as his dying mother. The film also stars Ron Livingston, Scott ‘Kid Cudi’ Mescudi, and Mackenzie Leigh. Here’s the synopsis:
James White (Christopher Abbott) is a troubled twenty-something trying to stay afloat in a frenzied New York City. He retreats further into a self-destructive, hedonistic lifestyle, but as his mother (Cynthia Nixon) battles a serious illness James is forced to take control of his life. As the pressure on him mounts, James must find new reserves of strength or risk imploding completely.
Stories of tortured twenty-somethings in a big city are popular these days, but James White looks like it goes deeper into this concept. »
- Sarah Pearce Lord
Here’s the first trailer for James White, which marks the feature directorial debut of Josh Mond, who produced Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer. The film was a source of constant conversation at Sundance this year, where we all sadly missed every screening. Much of the talk about the film centered on the lead […]
- Russ Fischer
The “Martha Marcy May Marlene” collective keeps producing interesting talent. Antonio Campos (“Simon Killer”) and Sean Durkin are already well on their way, and have returned the producing favor for their friend Josh Mond, a producer on ‘Martha Marcy.’ He's made his feature-length directorial debut at Sundance with “James White” and it won the Next award in Utah. Read More: Sundance Review: ‘James White’ Starring Christopher Abbot & Cynthia Nixon Is A Bruising Portrait Of Self-Destruction “James White” is one of the few Sundance films to also play at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Christopher Abbott, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Cynthia Nixon, Ron Livingston, David Call and Mackenzie Leigh, the film is a coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker struggling to take control of his reckless, self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges. Here’s the official synopsis: Martha Marcy May Marlene producer Josh »
- Edward Davis
“Which one?” is the obvious question prompted by the title in “The Childhood of a Leader,” a overweening, maddening but not inconsiderable directorial debut for actor Brady Corbet, which plays as something of a straight-faced parody of a well-upholstered historical biopic. For anyone going in blind, it won’t take long to deduce that the nascent leader in question is a product of Corbet’s heavily Sartre-fueled imagination: a toxic pawn in a grueling bad-parenting parable that only reaches its rather inevitable punchline in the final frames. Distinguished by some virtuosic craft — including a cacophonous orchestral score by Scott Walker that will have certain viewers scrambling for the exit in the opening minutes — but significantly shakier on the writing and performance fronts, this “Leader” won’t find many followers in the distribution racket. Still, it’s an aggressive statement of intent from a filmmaker who, one senses, is just getting started. »
- Guy Lodge
James WhiteFour films by Truffaut, one each by Kubrick, Kazan, Mackendrick, Donen, Lumet, Aldrich, Spielberg, Henry King, John Huston, Hawks, Hitchcock, Tourneur, William A. Wellman, John Ford, Brooks Mel (two films) and Richard (one), Michael Mann, and two by David Lynch. Classic Arabic movies, Pakistani movies, Romances & Musicals, Indonesian and Vietnamese films, films in Tagalog, Sinhala, Bengali, Mandarin and Cantonese, and six contemplative long take studies ranging in length from ten minutes to an hour. No, this is not the line-up for the Locarno Film Festival; it is but a taste of what was offered on demand on the video screen on my flight from New York to the small Swiss town's nearest large international airport, in Milan. Seeing as I was en route to a festival with several 35mm retrospectives, a competition section of adventurous fare anticipated and unknown, and scads of other program strands I've yet to fully understand, »
- Daniel Kasman
A furious slew of titles in the works would seem to prophesize a robust main competition slate for Cannes 2016. Though our initial list will eventually be pruned down as the year progresses (Berlin may snag something in here, especially if their 2016 lineup looks anything like their landmark selection from this past January), we’re confident that we will be seeing another round of heavy hitting auteurs unveiling their latest bits on the Croisette.
Absent from the main competition in 2015 were the Romanians (Muntean and Porumboiu were assigned to Un Certain Regard) and any trace of Latin filmmakers. The 2016 edition looks to make up for lost ground. For the Romanians, a couple heavy hitting titans from the New Wave will be ready. Cristi Puiu, who previously won Ucr in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu should hopefully be getting a competition invite for Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, previous Palme d’Or winner »
- Nicholas Bell
“Cinderella” has crossed the $500 million mark worldwide, and so Lily James is using that momentum to land herself a new gig. Edgar Wright has cast James opposite Ansel Elgort in “Baby Driver,” Wright’s follow-up to 2013’s “The World’s End.” Penned by Wright, the movie focuses on a burgeoning getaway driver (Elgort) who endangers himself and the life of his love interest (James) when he fails to complete a heist for a crime boss. [The Wrap] Director Antonio Campos (“Simon Killer”) has a new film in the works titled “Christine,” and he’s bagged Rebecca Hall and Michael C. Hall in the lead roles. It’s a drama about a Florida newscaster (Rebecca Hall) who methodically plans her suicide to occur on camera. Michael C. Hall stars as a co-worker who develops a crush on the news anchor. The supporting cast includes Maria Dizzia (“Orange Is The New Black”), writer/actor »
- Edward Davis
James White is a coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker who struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior as his mother battles with serious illness.
The Film Arcade negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The distributors are planning to release the film theatrically and will mount an awards push for the two stars.
“James White” centers on a hard-partying young man struggling to take care of his mother after her cancer returns. Arthouse company Memento Films acquired international sales rights to the picture earlier this month.
The film marks the directorial debut of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” producer Josh Mond. It is the latest feature film from Borderline Films, a New York City-based production company formed in 2003 by Tisch film school alums Mond, Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin. »
- Brent Lang
"Enemy," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Simon Killer," "The One I Love," "5 To 7" — even if you don't know the names Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, you've undoubtedly heard the work of the very prolific composing duo. This year alone they've had compositions in three Sundance films ("Last Days In The Desert," "Nasty Baby," "The Wolfpack") and now comes the Tribeca Film Festival where you'll hear even more from them in "The Driftless Area" and "Franny." And today, we've got an exclusive listen to "Franny's Theme" from the latter picture. Written and directed by Andrew Renzi, and starring Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James, Clarke Peters, Cheryl Hines, and Dylan Baker, the drama follows a rich eccentric man who worms his way into the lives of a deceased friend’s young daughter and her new husband. And the theme music certainly evokes a drama with »
- Kevin Jagernauth
As collaborators, Sean Durkin and Antonio Campos have been a formidable pair. Campos produced the Durkin-directed breakout "Martha Marcy May Marlene," while roles were reversed for Campos' directorial efforts "Simon Killer" and "Afterschool." And the pair put their producing powers behind recent Sundance film festival hit "James White." Clearly they've got taste and talent, and they are putting it to use once again, producing "Katie Says Goodbye." Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Jim Belushi and Mary Steenburgen will star in the drama about "a 17-year-old waitress, played by Cooke, who attempts to overcome the hardships of poverty by prostituting herself in order to fulfill her dream of a new life in San Francisco." Wayne Roberts will direct with filming starting this month. [THR] Johnnie To always has several projects on the go at once, so here's another: he'll direct the heist thriller »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Olivia Cooke, who moved Sundance as a teen with cancer in Grand Jury and Audience winner "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," is set to follow up her breakout role with "Katie Says Goodbye," a drama from the indie collective behind "Martha Marcy May Marlene." (THR has the full scoop.) Cooke will play the title character, a 17-year-old waitress who prostitutes herself in order to get by while pursuing greener pastures in San Francisco. She is joined by "The Killing" star Mireille Enos, Jim Belushi, Mary Steenburgen and Christopher Abbott, who also broke big out of Sundance as a self-destructive twenty-something in "James White." In the "Katie," Abbott plays Cooke's mechanic love interest, with Enos playing her unfit mother. The feature is set to begin shooting at the end of March in New Mexico. "James White" producers Sean Durkin, who directed "Martha Marcy," and "Simon Killer" »
- Ryan Lattanzio
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s visually inventive comedy-drama about the friendship between a misfit teenager and a classmate diagnosed with leukemia, received both the grand jury prize and the audience award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night. Part cancer-themed tearjerker and part tribute to obsessive movie love, “Me and Earl” was acquired by Fox Searchlight earlier this week in one of the festival’s biggest deals.
This marks the third year in a row that one movie has taken both top prizes at Sundance, following the lead of “Fruitvale Station” in 2013 and “Whiplash” last year. “Me and Earl’s” victory was even more noteworthy given what many considered one of the stronger U.S. dramatic competitions in recent memory, with strong critical and audience buzz for “Dope,” “The Witch” and “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” all of which also received prizes.
- Justin Chang
"Christopher Abbott bailed on playing the doormat boyfriend to Allison Williams's Marnie after season two of Girls," begins David Rooney in the Hollywood Reporter. "Watching his bruised, bristling performance as the rudderless title character in James White, it's natural to assume that choice was dictated by the actor's hunger for a darker exploration of his considerable range. The opportunity is provided in this extraordinarily intimate drama, which marks an arresting feature debut for writer-director Josh Mond of Borderline Films, the New York-based indie production collective behind such projects as Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer." We're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson »
For close to a decade, the filmmaking collective known as Borderline Films has produced eerie dramas brought to life with complex techniques: Antonio Campos' "Afterschool" and "Simon Killer" followed alienated men driven to killer impulses, while Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" involved a woman reeling from her time spent in a cult. Borderline's third member, Josh Mond, has largely maintained a producorial role—until now. With "James White," Mond displays the same engrossing narrative sophistication found in his colleagues' work, while at the same time reaching for more profoundly affecting depths. Mond's feature-length debut as writer-director bears many of hallmarks found in previous Borderline efforts: It focuses on a troubled young adult battling his internal demons and explores his conundrum through a series of precise cinematic devices. But unlike other Borderline efforts, "James White"—essentially a movie in which a »
- Eric Kohn
Calling card movies usually serve their casts or their directors, they seldom favour both. James White, however, is a rare exception: a story that showcases subtlety and technique on both sides of the camera. But what’s just as surprising about such a tender and emotional project is that it comes from Borderline Films, a New York based trio whose excellent output to date has tended towards the dark, with the likes of Afterschool, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer – the latter two also premiered at Sundance – dealing with subjects such as teenage morality in the internet age, modern-day cults and twisted male sexuality, in that order.
- Damon Wise
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