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Actor turned writer-director Dolly Wells makes her feature debut with this slight, elegant, lo-fi indie comedy, a tale of self-doubting but privileged cultured/artistic twentysomethings in Brooklyn, New York, which unrolls in the manner of Noah Baumbach or Lena Dunham.
Wells’s coolly indirect way with dialogue prevents the movie becoming insufferable in the way that it might have done in other hands. It is like a short story that insouciantly signs off before you’ve quite decided what it means.
Grace Van Patten plays Lilian, a young woman who has amicably, or at any rate affectlessly, broken up with her boyfriend, Nate (Gary Richardson). Her wealthy widower dad is currently upsetting Lilian by disporting himself in Paris with a new French girlfriend and not returning her phone messages. But it is this absentee dad who fixes Lilian up with a temporary place to stay – at the handsome home of a family friend: the legendary, reclusive novelist Julia Price (Emily Mortimer), the author of a cult classic called Good Posture.
Bizarrely, the difficult and prickly Price takes a sort-of shine to Lilian and starts coming into her bedroom and writing messages in Lilian’s private journal while she is out. And then Lilian meets Nate in the street, and, mortified by the fact that he already has a new partner, she says the first status-boosting lie that comes into her head: that she is making a documentary about Julia Price, and now she has to go through with it.
There is much comedy to be had from the eccentric director of photography that Lilian appoints; he is wittily played by John Early. And Wells has landed droll cameos from literary stars playing themselves, being interviewed on the importance of this (fictional) novelist: Zadie Smith, Jonathan Ames and even a ruminative, vaping Martin Amis. A stylish diversion.
• Good Posture is released in the UK on 4 October.
Source: The Guardian
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