MOVIES BY THE SLICE — Humor and engaging storytelling highlight “American Fiction”

Published 12:02 am Saturday, February 10, 2024

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Directed and written by Cord Jefferson, adapted from Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, “American Fiction” delves into the struggles of a Black novelist whose work doesn’t conform to stereotypical expectations of “black” literature.

Facing rejection from White audiences and publishers seeking sensationalized narratives of crime and thug life, the protagonist adopts a pseudonym and crafts a deliberately exaggerated, stereotypical novel as a joke.

To his surprise, the book becomes a bestseller, exposing the irony of his intent being misconstrued.

His attempts to extricate himself from the lucrative deal are met with unexpected acceptance from the publishers.

Jeffrey Wright, known for his roles in recent James Bond films as Felix Leiter, “The Batman” as Lt. Gordon, and “Westworld” as Bernard, delivers a compelling performance, showcasing his versatility and commanding presence.

The ensemble cast, including Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Keith David and Sterling K. Brown, complements Wright’s performance with solid acting.

American Fiction offers humor and engaging storytelling. The film’s strength lies in its performances, earning it my recommendation with a rating of 8 out of 10.

It stands out as one of the year’s notable films.

The film has received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and a Best Actor nod for Wright.

His magnificent portrayal enhances his chances of winning the award this year.

I encourage you to watch it and share your thoughts with me.

To reach Patrick Bennett, email