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American Splendor

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Original title
American Splendor
Running time
100 min.
United States United States
Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman (Comic: Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner)
Mark Suozzo
Terry Stacey
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HBO Films / Fine Line Features / Good Machine
Drama | Based on a Comic. Independent Film (US)
Official Site
Synopsis / Plot
Harvey Pekar is file clerk at the local VA hospital. His interactions with his co-workers offer some relief from the monotony, and their discussions encompass everything from music to the decline of American culture to new flavors of jellybeans and life itself. At home, Harvey fills his days with reading, writing and listening to jazz. His apartment is filled with thousands of books and LPs, and he regularly scours Cleveland's thrift stores and garage sales for more, savoring the rare joy of a 25-cent find. It is at one of these junk sales that Harvey meets Robert Crumb, a greeting card artist and music enthusiast. When, years later, Crumb finds international success for his underground comics, the idea that comic books can be a valid art form for adults inspires Harvey to write his own brand of comic book. An admirer of naturalist writers like Theodore Dreiser, Harvey makes his "American Splendor" a truthful, unsentimental record of his working-class life, a warts-and-all self portrait. First published in 1976, the comic earns Harvey cult fame throughout the 1980s and eventually leads him to the sardonic Joyce Barber, a partner in a Delaware comic book store who end ups being Harvey's true soul mate as they experience the bizarre byproducts of Harvey's cult celebrity stature.
2003: Nominated for Oscar: Best Adapted Screenplay
2003: Nominated for Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress (Hope Davis)
2003: Sundance: Best Movie
2003: Cannes: FIPRESCI Award (International Critics)
2003: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Movies of the Year
2003: Independent Spirit Awards: 5 Nominations including Best Film and Best Director
2003: National Board of Review: Best Actor (Paul Giamatti), Special Recognition
2003: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actress (Davis) & Best First Film
2003: Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Picture and Screenplay
2003: Toronto: Best First Feature
2003: Gijon Film Festival: Official Selection
2003: Chicago Film Critics Awards: Best Promising Filmmaker
2003: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Adapted Screenplay
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