A Mockumentary for the Modern Age
Clairevoyant is a mockumentary style film in the vein of The Office which essentially satirizes the lifestyle of a pampered young woman on a faux spiritual journey who is set up nicely thanks to her father who only has a relationship with her in the form of sending her money. The film mostly succeeds due to its lead performance, the dry humor/sardonic tone, and its hilarious storytelling method. Clairevoyant also succeeds thanks to the clever writing from Micaela Wittman and Arthur De Larroche. Let's take a deeper dive into Claire's spiritual journey.
The Lead Performance
Clairevoyant rests almost entirely on Micaela Wittman's shoulders, along with her dynamic performance. Micaela WIttman's Claire is somewhat of a spoiled LA brat who really would not have any purpose or direction if not for her rich father who effectively pays for everything of hers. Nevertheless, Claire is lost and feels that a spiritual journey of sorts is going to help her find herself. The film opens with a very dryly humorous approach which sets the tone for the rest of the film. Right away, we can tell that we're dealing with someone who has no idea what she's talking about and comes from money and privilege. From there, we explore the spiritual underbelly of sorts in LA and we experience it all through Claire's clueless eyes. Micaela Wittman plays the role to perfection with her impeccable comedic timing, wonderful comedic instincts as an actor, and her ability to seamlessly shift tones.
The Clever Script
The film also succeeds at such a high level thanks to the clever writing behind this profoundly funny script. The writing is not only hilarious, but it's also exceedingly and deceivingly smart. The jokes all land, and even if they don't, Wittman lets the scenes play out and wills them to be funny. The script is also so intelligent because it's clear that Wittman and De Larroche did so much research on the theological and spiritual subjects. Despite the fact that it's supposed to be somewhat of a silly mockumentary, they also don't let pure storytelling go by the wayside. Wittman and Delarroche do also give care and attention to the character of Claire, giving her moments of depth and emotional complexity. They build her character with a poignant scene on her own, a funny but also devastating scene with her mother, and a psychological/psychedelic journey which serves as the pivotal moment/climax of the film. Even if a comedy is supposed to make us laugh, you can never forget about the importance of character in a story, and this is no exception here.
The Mockumentary Style Approach
Clairevoyant also succeeds due to the effective use of its mockumentary style. The dry humor and its sardonic tone is very effective especially with its subject matter and how Claire plays with that. Claire is completely unknowledgeable and ignorant and the humor plays so well between her interactions with the experts within the subculture and religions. The mockumentary style, the tone, and the humor is very reminiscent of The Office and works so well within the context of the story and works perfectly for the character of Claire. Claire is an exceedingly funny character to follow and we weirdly root for her despite her ignorance, privilege and attitudes. The story and humor perhaps could have failed as any other story but it fits perfectly within the mockumentary realm.
Overall, Clairevoyant is a very solid mockumentary feature which succeeds on the shoulders of Micaela Wittman, Arthur De Larroche, and this incredibly talented production team. Wittman is the standout as the titular Claire who has tremendous comedic and dramatic talent which work in tandem to carry this film. The exceedingly clever and witty writing also work to lift this project up above the rest within its genre, and is so remarkably knowledgeable of the spiritual and religious topics within the fabric of this film. The mockumentary style was an excellent creative choice to tell this hilarious story and really adds to the dry, sardonic tone and propels the narrative momentum of Claire's spiritual journey we experience alongside her.
Clairevoyant is an indie mockumentary feature that I was able to view via private screener link on Vimeo and will be made more readily available soon. I will keep you posted as more information is revealed regarding a wider release for this film.