American Splendor

Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff
Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff
D: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini
Optimum (Ted Hope)
USA 🇺🇸 2003
101 mins
W: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini [based on the comic books "American Splendor" and "Our Cancer Year" by Harvey Pekar & Joyce Brabner]
DP: Terry Stacey
Ed: Robert Pulcini
Mus: Mark Suozzo
Paul Giamatti (Harvey Pekar), Harvey Pekar (himself), Shari Springer Berman (Interviewer), Earl Billings (Mr. Boats), James Urbaniak (Robert Crumb), Judah Friedlander (Toby Radloff), Toby Radloff (himself), Hope Davis (Joyce Brabner)
American Splendor is a comic book movie without the usual superheroes in flowing capes yet still manages to be a quirky and enjoyable work.
The main character, Harvey Pekar, is just an ordinary man with nerdy interests and a menial job as a clerk in a hospital, but he went on to become a famous comic strip author of events based on his life.
While not being a movie which would appeal to the general comic book market, it's an inventive and originally witty film for fans of a more independent market. Similarities could possibly be made to 2001's Ghost World, but this film is altogether a more entertaining watch.

Paul Giamatti in American Splendor
Paul Giamatti in American Splendor
Did You Know:
NBC would not lease out the actual footage where Harvey Pekar finally lashed out at David Letterman during his late night chatshow, so the scene had to be recreated with actors.

Award Wins & Nominations:


Wins: none

Nominations: 3 (Best Actor in a Leading Role; Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Screenplay - Adaptation)


Wins: none

Nominations: 1 (Best Screenplay - Adaptation)


Wins: none

Nominations: none


AFI Awards (Movie of the Year); Boston Society of Film Critics (Best Screenplay); Central Ohio Film Critics (Best Screenplay - Adapted); Chicago Film Critics (Most Promising Filmmaker); Chlotrudis Award (Best Adapted Screenplay); Gotham Awards (Breakthrough Director); Los Angeles Film Critics (Best Picture, Best Screenplay); National Board of Review (Breakthrough Performance); National Society of Film Critics (Best Film, Best Screenplay); New York Film Critics (Best Actress, Best First Film); Online Film Critics Society (Best Breakthrough Filmmaker); San Diego Film Critics (Best Adapted Screenplay); Seattle Film Critics (Best Film, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay); Toronto Film Critics (Best First Feature); Writers Guild of America (Best Adapted Screenplay)