CIFF 2015: James White
After premiering at Sundance in January and winning the “Best of Next” Audience Award, Borderline Films “James White” has been making its rounds on the festival circuit, arriving at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival for two screenings. Last night was the first screening and tonight the festival’s Junior Board will present the independent feature with their Emerging Artist Award presentation as their Junior Board Night. It all takes place at AMC River East on 322 E. Illinois St, where the film screens at 7:30pm with a post-screening Q&A with director Josh Mond and actor Christopher Abbott. A ticketed after-party will follow at the same location at the Filmmaker’s Lounge inside Lucky Strike. “James White” is scheduled to open in Chicago on November 27th, but you don’t want to miss this opportunity to catch it early and meet the talent involved.
This emotional directorial debut of writer Josh Mond (producer of “Martha Marcy May Marlene”) is raw, heartbreaking and powerful. James White (a mesmerizing Christopher Abbott) is an aimless, self-destructive twenty-something, living in New York City with his mother, Gail (an amazing Cynthia Nixon), and mourning the recent death of his father. James tries to get his life together, but when his mother’s illness relapses aggressively, he defaults into reckless behavior while caring for her and must find the strength to persevere. Confidently told with up close and personal camerawork, Mond delivers a challenging look at loss, care-giving and the helplessness of watching someone you love suffer. Grounded by two fearless performances and supported by fine work from Scott Mescudi, Makenzie Lee and Ron Livingston, “James White” is a touching, absorbing and unforgettable viewing experience that absolutely gutted me.