Sundance Winner James White Gets Oscar Campaign

jameswhite_picCynthia Nixon and Christopher Abbott in Josh Mond’s James White (via The Huffington Post)

The Film Arcade has set drama James White for a limited release on Nov. 13 – the same day documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words hits select locations.

The distributor plans to focus their awards campaign on Abbott and Nixon’s performances as the title character and his mother, respectively; first-time director Josh Mond, who produced Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), may pick up some directorial-debut honors on the circuit. Deadline Hollywood relays the following from TFA’s Andy Bohn:

“What people have really responded to when seeing this film, whether audiences or critics, is that the performances from Christopher and Cynthia are just astonishing. Both of them give the performances of their career.”

James White, which won the Best of Next! Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year, centers on (who else?) James White, a young man in New York who struggles with self-destructive behavior while dealing with his very ill mother.

Abbott’s been making a name for himself in indies like the aforementioned Martha with Elizabeth Olsen, Hello I Must Be Going (2012) with Melanie Lynskey, and A Most Violent Year with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, and a recurring role on HBO’s Girls. Nixon, meanwhile, won Emmy and SAG prizes for HBO’s iconic Sex and the City; will James White be her cinematic breakthrough?

Don’t get your hopes up just yet: The last five Best of Next! winners enjoyed nice festival runs but failed to register in the larger awards conversation beyond some very indie-specific groups. Check out those Best of Next! winners – and their post-Sundance accolades – below.

  • 2014: Imperial Dreams
  • 2013: This is Martin Bonner (Independent Spirit Award winner for John Cassavetes Award)
  • 2012: Sleepwalk with Me (National Board of Review’s top 10 independent films; Gotham Award nominee for breakthrough Mike Birbiglia)
  • 2011: To Get Her
  • 2010: The Locksmith

Of course, did these films’ distributors even launch legitimate awards campaigns on their behalf? If TFA sticks with its James White campaign, Nixon could land some supporting-actress bids throughout the season.

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