Director: Cord Jefferson
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Adam Brody, Leslie Uggams, Miriam Shor, Michael Cyril Creighton

The trouble for any artist can be dealing with expectations. Expectations from publishers, audience, or oneself. That lies at the surface for Jeffrey Wright’s character in American Fiction. Cord Jefferson is making his feature film debut and couldn’t have gotten a better leading actor than the sublime Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious Ellison, who goes by the nickname Monk. Monk is a college professor and writer who is asked to take a leave of absence after a debate regarding word choices from a black teacher to his white kids caused controversy. He’s told he’s “on edge.” Monk heads back to his hometown of Boston to deal with a family tragedy. On top of the family issues, he’s told by his publisher to write a “Black book” a book similar to that of Issa Rae’s character, Sintara Golden, whose books use more explosive language. It’s not his style, but he uses this family grief and trauma to write a new book under a pseudonym that is ful of racially charged language, violence, and a tough, edgy tone. He sees this as a joke, but publishers grab onto it quickly thinking it’s the next best book ready to win all the awards. In theaters

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