American Fiction, A Gentleman in Moscow (again)

American Fiction, A Gentleman in Moscow (again)

So, this is definitely a Sunday post, it just happens to be on Tuesday. Don’t be fooled.

I watched American Fiction on the weekend. I liked it a lot – it drew emotionally engaging characters efficiently (I was really drawn into the friendship of Monk and his sister Lisa, even though it’s really only set up in a handful of scenes), as well as pursuing what felt like excellent satire (the specifics of which were mostly over my head).

And it was quite funny. I find it hard to really properly laugh in a movie unless the characters draw you in, and these did. Especially Jeffrey Wright’s Monk – Wright is always great to watch, but he’s especially good here getting to be snide, irritated and irritating. It has a few very meta-textual moments that might alienate some but I thought were great, especially a moment where he’s writing his book in a very interactive way. The rest of the cast is great, too, with Sterling K. Brown stealing many scenes. Recommended.

I also finished reading A Gentleman in Moscow. Which was delightful but ultimately felt a little weightless to me. I think I was expecting life’s challenges to be a little more... challenging, but the peril to the Count is ultimately quite mild. That said, I might be judging against my own expectations here. There are plenty of sudden, off-camera gut punches that make the world feel like it’s not a complete fairy tale. It just feels very “Sunday night on the ABC with the whole family”, which is no bad thing, really.

Tom Charman Mastodon