James White

James White is a troubled twentysomething trying to stay afloat in a frenzied New York City. As he retreats further into a hedonistic lifestyle, his mother's battle with a serious illness faces a series of setbacks that force him to assume more responsibility. With the pressure on him mounting, James must find new reserves of strength or risk imploding completely.


Add a review


See more films


  • ★★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd

    Like for James,

    my father is only a memory now.

    His face only exists within the confines of square frames, and even there, it's only the contours, only the shadows and lines and nondescript forms that remain vivid.

    Nothing beyond that, no clear images or lucid, lively recollections.

    When the time finally comes for my mother to cross this threshold, when the time comes for her son to accept her departure and live in a world empty of her presence, it is this film that he will turn to.

    This film will be his guide, his stabilizer, the one to keep him grounded, hold him back from descending into chaos and accept the reality that all others must accept.

    It will be this one,

    not that one

    or that one

    or that one,

    or that one,

    but this one.

  • ★★★★★ review by Wesley R. Ball on Letterboxd

    What stands out most to me about James White, a staggering achievement for a freshman feature, is the absence of a soundtrack. The lack of a score allows for the intense camerawork and consistent closeups of the titular character convey all the emotion it needs. Christopher Abbott gives a marvelous performance, overflowing with a poignant, human touch that radiates in his relationships. It's rare to find a drama that packs such emotional love and artistry into such a short runtime. Films like James White are few and far between- it doesn't waste time trying to utilize melodrama to convey artificial sentiments, strictly focusing on its players' emotions and their incredibly tangible development over time. It is a supremely human tour de force that gives legitimate meaning to the phrase "art imitating life."

  • ★★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd

    A film about a bridge between two places, the place in which they exist, and the place in which they are no longer. The place one originates from is a safe haven, in which the darkness in the distance seem just that: distant. But that distance is illusory, and as time gradually unfolds, the darkness is suddenly closer, and suddenly closer, and finally it envelops you.

    And there you are, on the bridge: the one with inclines, sharp turns, slopes and dips, the one shrouded in rainwater, caught in the tempest, far beyond the calm. And then you emerge, and you look behind yourself at the pitch-black, the ink, the sludge; it's always there -- it always will be there, just beyond your back -- but you've got two feet of your own.

    They've given you those two strange shapes at which you look down and wonder: it is with these, that I'll keep moving forward?

  • ★★★★★ review by maxwill on Letterboxd

    One of the greatest new independent films I've had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing.

    #1 on my Best Films of 2015 List

    Brimming with a brilliant cinema-vérité stylization, I've never been so visually riveted by a film from a filmmaking standpoint while also just feeling like my stomach was about to explode from despair.

    Written and directed by first-time-director Josh Mond and starring an abrasively commanding Christopher Abbot, a career-topping Cynthia Nixon, and a surprisingly fantastic Scott Mescudi (who is also responsible for writing all of the beautiful music for the film, I mean what a talent this guy has proved himself to be), "James White" tells the painful story of James White's young life, dealing with the recent passing of his father and the terminal cancer his mother is ridden with. As a young man, he feels the need to get away and become his own person but feels an obligation to stay for his mother -- Sounds heavy handed, sure, but it never feels that way, partially because it's true. This is the story of writer-director Josh Mond's life -- And what came out of it is a film that is a brilliant study on human emotion, sacrifice, love, and just life itself.

    A truly phenomenal film, and a personal one for me as well. Please rush to see this cinematic achievement as soon as you get the chance. I am truly in awe. Few films have affected me like this in my entire life.

  • ★★★★ review by Sami🌦 on Letterboxd

    -Timothée Chalamet said on a podcast that this was his favorite film and I just wanna know if he cried half as much as I did..

    -bc I am not! exaggerating! when I say that this movie broke my damn heart!

    -on a lighter note: Kid Cudi was incredible and also ever since I saw these pictures of him two days ago I’ve thought of nothing else

    “The thing about us is, we feel good things way up here.. but we feel bad things way, way, way down there. And we gotta try and remember, there’s all this space in between... We got to try and live in there too, right?”

  • See all reviews