7.1/10
5,133
19 user 95 critic

James White (2015)

R | | Drama | 13 November 2015 (USA)
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James, a twenty-something New Yorker, struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges.

Director:

Josh Mond

Writer:

Josh Mond
9 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Abbott ... James White
Cynthia Nixon ... Gail White
Kid Cudi ... Nick (as Scott Mescudi)
Makenzie Leigh ... Jayne
Scott Cohen ... Barry White
David Call ... Elliot
Ron Livingston ... Ben
Laura Johnston Laura Johnston ... Genie
Jeanette Dilone ... Irene (Spanish Girl)
Bhavesh Patel ... Dr. Lobo
Linda Powell Linda Powell ... Nurse
Jessica Wong Jessica Wong ... Jesse
Sue Jean Kim ... Karen
Hubert Point-Du Jour ... EMT #1
Bradley Fleischer Bradley Fleischer ... EMT #2
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Storyline

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. Written by Film Arcade

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, some sexuality/nudity, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Džejms Vajt See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,007, 15 November 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$94,464, 13 December 2015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$101,368, 20 December 2015
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 22 days: 18 days in New York and 4 days in Mexico. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
James White: What am I supposed to do?
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Soundtracks

LVL
Written by ASAP Rocky and Clams Casino (as Michael Volpe)
Performed by ASAP Rocky (as A$AP Rocky)
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User Reviews

 
Engrossing and heartbreaking glimpse into an unfortunate life
8 October 2015 | by alwayshungryySee all my reviews

James White (Christopher Abbott) is caught in an endless cycle of self-destruction. He has just lost his father and fears losing his ailing mother (Cynthia Nixon) who he has been taking care of for years. He spends his days drinking, sleeping around and lashing out at others, doing anything to avoid confronting his grief and emotions, which he keeps under the surface, bubbling and waiting to burst. Life has been unfair to him, and this behaviour that manifested sabotages any chance of career or personal growth. He might be using his mother's condition as an excuse not to step out of his comfort zone and try harder in life, which is reasonable to some extent, but he can't seem to change. In his prime, he is jobless and taking his mother's couch as a bed.

This narratively loose drama doesn't offer anything particularly new in giving us a glimpse into the struggles, both internal and external, faced by James. There is not much closure or emotional reward to be given. This is summed up perfectly in one of the very few scenes in which we see James surrendering to his emotions, crying while repeatedly yelling "I don't know what to do".

The best aspect of the film is the acting. Nixon gives an authentic, heartbreaking performance that's understated. Abbott, on the other hand, is given a character that requires patience and sensitivity to sympathize with. James internalizes many complex emotions throughout the film and what goes on in his mind is not always clear to the audience. It's a tricky act to balance but Abbott pulls it off. Their mother-son relationship is the only thing that's certain in their lives and is the core of the film.

The film could have very well ended during its most powerful and stirring scene with James and his mother in the toilet. She can't get up, so they sit and talk about what their ideal life would be like and the future they had hope for. They feel at peace as both of them stay in this moment, still and smiling. This is when the bleak reality of the film truly sets in, as we see these people, both kind and full of dreams and desires, trapped in an unfortunate life.


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