James White Review
James White is a 2015 indie drama film directed by Josh Mond and starring Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon. It is such a disappointing and familiar film.
The film follows a young man’s struggles and how he copes with his mother’s illness. The plot is incredibly clichéd and familiar to the point of being very boring to watch. Yes, the first act or so is more interesting, but everything later on is very dull and such a typical tragedy with the cancer story being so overdone by now.
The film is also never really emotional. Yes, it tries to be heartwarming, but despite a couple of truly warm scenes, the rest is just cold. And the whole film is a bit shallow and always so standard in its plot progression. It never has anything unique about it or anything interesting to say. It should have been smarter.
The characters are quite good. The main character is realistic, but still quite annoying. Nick is such a likable character and it is great how they portrayed him and how he is always there for his friend, albeit that is a bit difficult to believe having in mind how James is often obnoxious towards everyone. And I liked Gail and the two have a good relationship.
Christopher Abbott did a fine job in this role. His performance was often great, but sometimes weaker. But Cynthia Nixon is magnificent and it is a shame how her role here is underappreciated as she is the reason to see this movie and film’s strongest asset. She delivers and is just stupendous.
James White is technically weak. It is solidly edited, but still too boring for such a short running time. The cinematography is uninspired and the directing and score should have been better. The script is problematic because it does have some very interesting possibilities that are never explored whatsoever and the film just becomes a typical drama about cancer that never differentiates itself from many other films of the same type. The dialogue is pretty good and some scenes are really great and memorable, but most are overlong and forgettable. The tone is also all over the place as it unsuccessfully tries to be a dramedy at first, while venturing into drama later on. It is grounded in reality, but not as relatable or as heartbreaking as it should have been. It is in the end an overrated movie that is too forgettable and way too familiar to be enjoyed more.