American Splendor (film)

American Splendor is a 2003 biopic about Harvey Pekar, the author of the American Splendor comic book series. It is in part an adaptation of the comics, which dramatize Pekar's life. It was written and directed by documentarians Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. It stars Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as his wife, Joyce Brabner. However, it also features appearances from Pekar and Brabner themselves (along with Toby Radloff), who discuss their lives, the comic books, and how it feels to be depicted onscreen by actors. It was filmed entirely on location in Cleveland and Lakewood in Ohio.


Actor Role
Paul Giamatti Harvey Pekar
Harvey Pekar Himself
Hope Davis Joyce Brabner
Joyce Brabner Herself
James Urbaniak Robert Crumb
Judah Friedlander Toby Radloff
Toby Radloff Himself


American Splendor won the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival, in addition to the award for Best Adapted Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. At the Cannes Film Festival in 2003, the movie received the FIPRESCI (critics) award. It was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2003 Academy Awards. The film has a 94% fresh rating of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.


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