There’s actually a lot to unpack from this movie. At times it’s almost a farce on both race and the world of publishing. But it is also about family, which can always bring its share of pathos.

Having made my living writing fiction of almost 35 years, I found the writing and publishing part dead on, albeit a bit over the top. I do think many writers have a streak of self-destruction and anger as Monk, the protagonist, certainly exhibits. Publishing is part of the entertainment business and that certainly makes no sense since entertainment is emotional and business is supposed to be logical. Try being Kirk and Spock in one person and conduct business?

On a deeper level, the examination of race and family ties is really worth pondering. The montage of films for Black History Month was startling. The reactions of the white editor and publicist to a “Black” book was funny and sad.

As a writer one of the hardest types of characters to generate is the one who is self-unaware as Monk clearly is. His brother and others around him try to show him this, even though they have their own faults. The range of emotion goes from tragedy to happiness.

Without giving it away, the ending might be considered a cop-out, but it was undoubtedly a genius move.

Bottom line? Jeffrey Wright deserved the Oscar more than Cillian Murphy who mainly walked around brooding. Wright’s able to convey a lot with a little. In fact, it was a much better picture than Oppenheimer which I found to be quite a yawn if you knew the history.

Highly recommended.