After false reports of his demise put him and his work on the map, an artist decides to continue the charade by posing as his own brother. Soon, a reporter enters his life and has a profound effect on him.
ActorsStarring: Brit Marling, Jack Huston, Tom Schilling, Lambert Wilson, Nikolai Kinski, Alexander Fehling
After her previous four promising but in the end somewhat unsatisfying movies (Another Earth, Sound of My Voice, The East, and I Origins), Brit Marling makes a clear departure from her past film choices and plays in a rom-com.
Posthumous starts out with the premise that an artist’s work is only truly acknowledged and valued after death, and so struggling artist Liam Price decides to fake his own death. Brit Marling plays McKenzie Grain, a journalist whose career isn’t exactly on fire either. She gets introduced to Liam’s work through her art dealer boyfriend, and decides to do a piece on him. When she visits a posthumous exposition of Liam’s art, she meets his twin brother. It doesn’t take McKenzie too long to figure out this twin is actually Liam himself, but she humours him to get the real story she’s after.
The set-up is pretty clunky, both in terms of the script and in terms of the acting; Marling feels like a fish out of water – and not just because that is her role in the first act (it is). Once that first act is out of the way and we move into the more (inter)personal relationship drama part of the rom-com, it feels a bit better. A bit, not a lot. It is the story about 2-and-a-half individuals (McKenzie’s boyfriend doesn’t get much character development, but without him there’s no triangle) dealing with life and their struggles, choices and emotions. And actually, calling this a romantic comedy sets the wrong expectations; it is more a romantic drama with a few smiles.
But there are no real highs and there are no real lows. There are a few smiles but the humour is too gentle to make a mark. It’s all a bit too tame and too lame unfortunately. The best thing about the movie is actuallty the very pretty photography of Berlin.
As you may have gathered from my earlier reviews of Brit Marling’s movies, I have held a secret hope that she will find herself a special niche in interesting, thought-provoking and intelligent movies. This movie does not represent progress in that direction.