“Clairevoyant”

I wasn’t enamored with actor / director Micaela Wittman‘s small scale mockumentary “Clairevoyant.” The premise isn’t the problem, nor is Wittman’s straightforward directorial style. It’s the borderline insufferable lead character that makes this a tough one to endure. It’s sort of like watching the worst parts of a reality television show.

Los Angeles socialite Claire (Wittman) dreams of achieving nirvana, stating that she “wants to be happy all the time.” She believes in every facet of new age mumbo-jumbo and considers herself a wellness practitioner. To document her journey to enlightenment, Claire hires a camera crew to follow her every move. She seeks out spiritual advisors that range from mystic healers to folks in organized religion, and it becomes clear that her path may not take her on the journey she expected.

It’s a decent, if somewhat sparse, concept for a feature, but the finished product has some problems. The overall craft isn’t an issue, because a story like this doesn’t need huge movie stars or a massive budget. The frugal production values actually make the narrative better. The script is a little too loose, which causes the dialogue to somehow manage to feel both improvised and forced.

Homages to other fake documentaries like “Borat” feel like a swing and a miss, as do a majority of the attempts at humor. Where Borat is a more likeable character because he’s genuine, Claire comes across as extraordinarily spoiled and annoying. Wittman has a terrific screen presence at least, but there’s only so much she can do with such an unlikable character.

By: Louisa Moore

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