EXCLUSIVE: Cord Jefferson’s feature directorial debut, American Fiction, is changing up its release plan from Nov. 3rd limited opening to Dec. 15.
The MGM theatrical release which stars Jeffrey Wright, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, Skyler Wright among others is a scathing satire on the publishing industry and its treatment of serious works by Black writers. One of those writers is Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Wright). He travels back to his hometown of Boston to attend a book festival, but the turnout is low in favor of another book seminar with author Sintara Golden’s (Issa Rae) bestseller We Lives in Da Ghetto.
Originally MGM was going to expand on Nov. 10 and 17. Now following that mid December release, there will be an expansion on Dec. 22. However, given the pic’s rapturous response out of Toronto and the People’s Choice Award win, I understand the studio is bullish and wants to give the film the opportunity to take advantage of the rich holiday play period given pic’s word-of-mouth and playability.
Coming out of TIFF, the movie is clocked at 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes currently.
Deadline film critic Valerie Complex wrote about the movie in her review, “Perhaps the most impactful message American Fiction delivers is about personal agency in a world that often seeks to define the stories of others. The media’s myopic view of Black lives might never shift, but individuals have the power to set their own narratives and boundaries. This film challenges viewers to reflect, question, and possibly reevaluate their perceptions on Blackness.”
Voted by audience members since 1978 and often considered a harbinger for the Best Picture Oscar, the TIFF People’s Choice Award has been won by such eventual Best Picture Academy Award winners as Nomadland, Green Book, 12 Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, American Beauty and Chariots of Fire. Among those that went on to Best Picture nominations include last year’s winner The Fabelmans as well as Belfast, JoJo Rabbit, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Room, La La Land, The Imitation Game, Silver Linings Playbook, Precious, Life Is Beautiful, Places in the Heart and The Big Chill