Aactor turned writer-director Trolley pit debuts this light, sleek, lo-fi indie comedy, a tale of self-doubting but privileged cultured/artistic twenty-somethings in Brooklyn, New York, set in the style of Noah Baumbach or Lena Dunham.
Wells’ chillingly indirect way with dialogue keeps the film from becoming overpowering as it might have in other hands. It’s like a short story that ends carefree before you’ve quite decided what it means.
Grace Van Patten plays Lilian, a young woman who has broken up amicably, or at least unemotionally, with her boyfriend, Nate (Gary Richardson). Her wealthy widowed father is currently upsetting Lilian by arguing in Paris with a new French girlfriend and not returning her phone messages. But it’s this absent father who secures Lilian with a temporary home – in the beautiful home of a family friend: legendary novelist and recluse Julia Price (Emily Mortimer), author of a cult classic called Good Posture. .
Bizarrely, the difficult and prickly Price takes some kind of glare for Lilian and begins to enter her room and write messages in Lilian’s private diary while she is away. And then Lilian meets Nate on the street, and, mortified by the fact that he already has a new partner, she tells the first lie that pops into her head: that she’s making a documentary about Julia Price, and now she has to pass by there.
There’s plenty of comedy to be had from the quirky cinematographer Lilian names; it is played wittily by John Early. And Wells landed funny cameos from literary stars playing themselves, interviewed about 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 October 4.