This intense drama starring Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon will break your heart
DISCOVERY D: Josh Mond. U.S. 85 min. Sep 17, 6 pm Ryerson Sep 18, 5 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 1. See listings. Rating: NNNN
After his estranged father dies and his mother’s cancer returns, the eponymous aimless 20-something New Yorker (Christopher Abbott) spirals out of control in this intense, engaging film that could be the sleeper of the fest.
The story is very familiar, but first-time director Mond has a definite point of view, using claustrophobic close-ups to capture James’s overwhelming stimuli and deploying sound – especially in the opening sequence – to great effect.
Abbott (Girls) is alternately angry, edgy, funny and charming, and he has a lovely, natural rapport with Cynthia Nixon, whose wary mother has her own issues and has heard every one of her son’s excuses.
The script is lean, cliché-free and enigmatic, especially an extended, poetic scene set in an Upper West Side bathroom that will terrify you, then break your heart.