Sundance: First Look at Cynthia Nixon in Josh Mond’s Directorial Debut ‘James White’ (Photo)

“Girls” alum Christopher Abbott stars as the troubled title character who must comfort his sick mother

Josh Mond‘s directorial debut “James White” debuts at Sundance this month and TheWrap has exclusively obtained the first image of Cynthia Nixon as Christopher Abbott‘s mother.

Premiering on Friday, Jan. 23 at 2:30 p.m. at the Library Center Theatre, “James White” explores loss and the deep relationship between a mother and son.

Abbott, who can currently be seen in “A Most Violent Year,” stars as the title character — a troubled twenty-something trying to stay afloat in a frenzied New York City.

James retreats into a self-destructive, hedonistic lifestyle, but a series of setbacks concerning his mother’s battle with a serious illness forces James to take control of his life. As the pressure on him mounts, James must find new reserves of strength or risk imploding completely.

“Sex and the City’s” Nixon and “Girls” alum Abbott are joined in the film by Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi (“Need for Speed”) and Ron Livingston (“Drinking Buddies).

Mond is one of principals at Borderline Films, which produced “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Mond and partners Sean Durkin and Antonio Campos each take turns directing while the other two produce, so this is Mond’s first film as writer-director, and the story is incredibly personal for him.

Shot in New York City with an intimate visual style, “James White” follows its lead into deep, affecting places while still maintaining its fragile humanity.