How to watch American Fiction in the UK

With five Oscar nominations to its name, the feature directorial debut of Emmy-winning writer Cord Jefferson is clearly a critical darling. The fact that it looks funny as hell is just icing on the cake.

How to watch American Fiction in the UK.

American Fiction is in UK cinemas now.

What is American Fiction about?

Based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percy Everett, American Fiction tells the tale of esteemed but commercially unsuccessful author and literature professor Thelonious “Monk” Ellison who, after his latest rejection from publishers, suffers a fit of pique over the success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, a novel by Sintara Golden steeped in Black stereotypes. Hastily banging out a parody he titles My Pafology, he submits it as a joke—but suddenly he’s offered a $750,000 advance. And things proceed from there.

Everett’s book is a dense, complex tome that takes in a whole swathe of themes, but it’s primarily taking aim at Black literature like Sapphire’s Push, which was filmed as Precious back in in 2009 (and memorably lampooned on 30 Rock when Tracy took an awards-bait role in Hard to Watch: Based on the Book Stone Cold Bummer by Manipulate). That’s rich territory for satire, but needs a deft touch. Judging by American Fiction‘s critical acclaim, it seems to have pulled it off.

The cast of American Fiction

The great Jeffrey Wright is Monk; Issa Rae is Sintara; Sterling K. Brown is Monk’s estranged gay brother, Cliff; Tracee Ellis Ross is their sister, Lisa; Lesie Uggams is their Alzheimer’s-addled mother, Agnes; and John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Adam Brody, Keith David, Okieriete Onaodowan, Raymond Anthony Thomas, Miriam Shor, Michael Cyril Creighton, J. C. MacKenzie, Patrick Fischler, and Ryan Richard Doyle round out the cast.

American Fiction trailer

What are the critics saying about American Fiction?

Pretty much universal acclaim for this one, gang, with the sharp script and excellent performances drawing particular attention. This kind of smart, literary satire can struggle at the box office, but hopefully the Oscar buzz will get more eyes on it.