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
James White follows it's title character, an avoidant and immature 20 something, through a period of grief and growth over his dying mother. James is lazy and emotionally closed off, opting for parties and drugs when the going gets tough. While James might normally be an unlikable character, it's hard not to relate to his fear of facing the despair that is waiting for him in the real world.
This movie is definitely a slow burn, but by it's ending sequence it sears quite the scar. James is clearly very close to his mom, and seems to be the only decent influence in his life anymore. His friends might be marginally more stable than himself, but it's clear that his relationship with his mother is the last good thing he's got going. When James is finally confronted with the responsibility of caring for her full time, the performances are top notch and had me weeping mournful, as all of his feelings are finally pulled to the surface.
The only things that hold this movie back for me are mostly issues of presentation, and I am very certain that a lot of people will be off put by the pacing. A lot of time is spent establishing the character, and it takes a while for anything notable to happen. When it finally strikes though, you are gonna have a harder movie cry than you've had in a long time.
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