16 September 2016 | olympicator
Enjoyable Romantic Comedy
A disgruntled, unsuccessful artist named Liam Price half-destroys his own artwork one night in the basement of an art showroom, after seeing that a set of works by a lesser artist has been put on display instead of his own pieces. Liam walks home drunk, falls asleep in a tunnel, and his things are stolen by a look-alike hobo who then dies that night. Liam is presumed to be dead.
You can see where this is going. "Posthumous" is a predictable but cute movie, sort of like "Rocky" meets "Lust for Life." It has very little substance, but the actors are clearly enjoying themselves, and it is refreshing to see a movie that at least attempts to say something about art without brooding and displaying abject suffering for ninety minutes nonstop.
I say "attempts," because I think that in the long run the movie has nearly nothing to say about art. It is about a man who likes to express himself in art but is not sure if anyone is listening. He meets McKenzie Grain, a lovely and intelligent journalist (played by the wonderful Brit Marling), and finds that she is fascinated by the "dead" Liam's artwork; and so Liam poses as his own brother, telling journalist about himself and trying to describe how important it is to be true to oneself. He sees through her misplaced ambitions about being a reporter; and she begins to see through his supposed indifference to the world.
This movie takes place in Berlin; but I did not get a strong sense of setting. One of the first ideas put forth in this movie is an environmental issue, that of "the bees." Bees are dying, and this is a bad thing because we depend upon bees to pollinate our food supply. This is brought up perhaps one more time in the entire movie. What is the relevance? Is Liam trying to illustrate to us, through his art, that we need to allow things to "pollinate" our world? That we must accept and embrace the little things in life, so that we can grow and prosper? This is a movie about being in the right place at the right time, and being able to accept the struggle and bleakness and death around you, because those terrible things are what make us who we are. I think the art of this movie could have played a larger role to display that idea; but the relationship of Liam and McKenzie manages to illustrate that premise in a way that is charming and touching.