JAMES WHITE is a hard-hitting emotional film which took the 2015 Sundance Film Festival by storm, earning standing ovations, emotional outpourings from audiences, and winning the Best of Next Audience Award. The film is also nominated for three IFP Gotham Awards: Best Actor (Christopher Abbott), Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award (Josh Mond), and Audience Award. It also played at Toronto International Film Festival where it left audiences in awe of not only the riveting and heartbreaking story, but by it's performances.
In the film, Christopher Abbott plays the title role, a troubled twenty-something trying to stay afloat in New York City as his mother Gail (Cynthia Nixon) fights a battle with cancer. Abbott is best known for his role on HBO's "Girls," but his turn in JAMES WHITE allows him to show off his full acting capabilities. Abbott is also a fixture on the New York stage, winning accolades for his performances – most recently in Annie Baker's JOHN. He was also named by Variety as one of 10 Actors to Watch in 2015.
Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-winner Cynthia Nixon delivers arguably the best work of her career here, lending Gail an undeniable lived-in humanity while conveying the ebbs and flows of her illness with tenacity and fearlessness. There is absolutely not a trace of Miranda, (her most popular role to date from Sex In the City) in James White. She is absolutely extraordinary and deserves to be considered for an Academy Award nomination for best actress.
JAMES WHITE is Josh Mond’s feature-length directorial debut, but he is hardly a stranger to the indie film scene. A co-founder of Borderline Films, Mond has produced SIMON KILLER, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, and AFTERSCHOOL, among others. Inspired by Mond’s own story of caring for his ailing mother, JAMES WHITE is a gritty portrait that’s as intense as it is emotionally honest.
I spoke with Cynthia Nixon and Christopher Abbott about working on this intense material script together when the film had its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.