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AMERICAN FICTION: 2023  (Available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99 rental when combined with 7 day free trial on MGM) This humorous and insightful comedy-drama was written and directed by Cord Jefferson in his feature directorial debut. It follows a frustrated novelist-professor, Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, who writes an outlandish satire of stereotypical "Black" books, only for it to be mistaken for serious literature and published to high sales and critical praise. As one critic put it, “this satire shouldn’t be laugh-out-loud funny….but it is. The movie grossed $23 million and received numerous accolades. It was named one of the top 10 films of 2023 by the American Film Institute. It also received five nominations at the 96th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Jeffrey Wright, with Cord Jefferson winning Best Adapted Screenplay. The supporting cast gave excellent performances as did Jeffrey Wright playing the lead. American Fiction pushes viewers to confront their prejudices while making them laugh along the way. Audiences on Rotten Tomatoes loved it, scoring 96% on the Tomatometer from 1,000 viewers. Although we didn’t laugh as loud or as frequently as critics predicted, Barbara and I liked the film a great deal. The movie is based on a novel, Erasure, written by Percival Eferett. I haven’t read the book, but I found the film thought provoking and deserving of the high praise it has received from critics. GRADE A

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