Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Poser’ is a captivating thriller that investigates the art of copying

There is a scene early on in Poser in which Lennon (Sylvie Mix) and Bobbi (Bobbi Kitten) play the mirror game. As Bobbi moves, Lennon mirrors that movement until after a few minutes, Bobbi explains, Lennon’s movements will begin to inform her own. Then, after a few moments more, they won’t be able to tell who is mirroring who.

This scene is a condensed version of Poser, a story in which a young woman with difficulties interacting with others ingratiates herself in the Columbus, Ohio indie music scene by emulating the people she meets. If you’re picking up Single White Female vibes you’re not exactly on the wrong track.

Poser is the kind of feature that I love film festivals for. It’s taut, well written, well-acted, and features a ton of new and interesting talent. Sylvie Mix gives a compelling performance as Lennon, a woman who struggles to connect as she seems to have little sense of self. Her transformation as she moves through the narrative, co-opting pieces of other people’s personality, is compelling and unsettling, especially once she meets Bobbi.

Sylvie Mix and Bobbi Kitten / Poser

Bobbi Kitten, playing a fictionalized version of herself, is just as compelling as Lennon’s opposite. Headstrong, confident, and outgoing, she is everything that Lennon wishes she were. Their relationship and how they each perceive it is fascinating, especially when you remember that scene where they mirror one another.

At what point does copying become art? At what point does a copy become something new and original? Poser doesn’t have easy answers, but it does have a compelling journey to get to them.

Rating: 4/5

Poser is playing as part of Tribeca at Home for US audiences through June 23rd 2021. There is no Canadian release information at this time.


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