James White — writer/director Josh Mond’s first feature — floored critics at Sundance with a portrayal of a family grappling with terminal illness that did not seem like the standard, sentimentalized feature-length equivalent of a sympathy card. Now, its first trailer — which gives a shattering glimpse into the performances of Cynthia Nixon, Christopher Abbott, and Kid Kudi — has been released, and can be viewed below.
Abbott stars, playing the title role, as a young New Yorker whose father has just died, and whose mother’s cancer — which she’d just finished treatment for — has just returned. From early reviews, it seems the film treats impending loss with a sense of floating derealization, skipping across time with the self-destructive James seemingly feeling distanced from reality by his inability to exert any control over it, perhaps with the exception of heavy drug use.
The trailer showcases Abbott’s — who you may recognize as Marnie’s insipid boyfriend from Girls — immense range and rawness. It’s also great to see Nixon’s talents being so central, especially as rogerebert.com called this the “best film work of her career.”
Watch the trailer:
The film will get a limited release in the States on November 13.