Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Emily Mortimer

QuickView: Good Posture (2019)

“Lilian: desperate for affirmation; bright, creative, compelling.”

Julia Price

Dolly Wells’ directorial debut is a brief but engaging drama about a young girl finding herself in New York after a break-up. Lilian is immature and materially spoiled but, we realise, emotionally starved by absent parents which has left her feeling adrift. The film unfolds over several weeks in which she lives in the house of a famous, reclusive writer, Emily Mortimer appearing predominantly through voiceover as the pair exchange adversarial correspondence in Lilian’s journal. Grace Van Patten carries the film, imbuing Lilian with an earnest depth that prevents the audience from simply dismissing her as spoiled, coupled with Wells’ smart dialogue that calls to mind Greta Gerwig’s portrayals of stubborn adolescence like Lady Bird. The humour arises largely from the supporting cast of New York characters. Zadie Smith, Martin Amis and Jonathan Ames also appear in amusing interviews about the importance of the fictional Julia Price’s work, though these are confusingly introduced into the film before the conceit of Lilian making a documentary. Wells allows us to dwell long enough to understand Lilian, but not to know where she will end up. In many ways Good Posture feels like a novella that joins a character at a turning point and ends before we fully understand the outcome of the story’s events, but it does so in a way that leaves a sense of interpretative intrigue rather than frustration.


QuickView: The Party (2017)

“It’s not fake. It’s just sometimes you have to pretend. In order to win.”


A lean, wry comedy in that skewers middle class morality as a group of friends gather to celebrate Janet’s rise to a Ministerial position. Conversations gradually unravel from subtle sniping until the guests are at one another’s throats. Staged across just three rooms of the house and a patio, The Party is theatrical to a fault rather than cinematic. Although there is intrigue as to the secrets each person hides, the superbly talented cast cannot overcome the lack of depth to their equally dislikeable characters. Decidedly less successful than the similarly contained Carnage, it is still an amusing diversion that does not outstay its welcome at just 71 minutes.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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