(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: Apparently-autistic and flighty Claire is considered the "nut" of the neighborhood, even when she goes around delivering her baked muffins to near-strangers. Now she gets to see some of the rest of the world. A trip to a store with her pastor's daughter turns into an extended road trip when the two personalities clash. Both women will learn about family secrets and will gain an appreciation for each other. The plot is rather generic and familiar but there are moments good humor and, yes, clarity. Stev Elam directs a script by Christian Lloyd and Kristin Wallace. Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10

Claire (played by Kristin Wallace, who co-authored) is in her mid- twenties and is the pariah of most of her neighborhood. She is obsessively merry as she flits around on the street, but where she goes disasters seem to follow. Nearly everyone she knows shuns her presence. And just as cheerful as Claire is, so is Claire's mother Henrietta (Saxon Trainor) dour. The mother thinks of little but danger and of her own fears. Then there is Danielle (Lyndsy Fonseca), the daughter of Claire's minister, Pastor Paul (Mackenzie Astin). She has some sympathy for Claire, but is uninterested in a deep friendship.

As she often seems to be, Claire is at the wrong place at the wrong time resulting in a hit-and-run driver causing the destruction of Danielle's Super 8 camera. Somehow Danielle accepts the blame that should have gone to the driver. The two women agree to go to a nearby town to replace the camera. Instead their trip turns into an unexpectedly long and emotional drive of mutual and self- discovery.

Claire lives in a Twilight-Zone-ish world in which nearly everyone seems to be just a bit off-kilter. Claire is considered strange, but there is enough bizarre in the town to go around. Every male her age Claire meets seems obsessed with his own sex kinks. One exception, however, is Trevor (A. J. Rauth) whose only eccentricity is playing a ukulele in a restroom. Trevor complicates Claire's relationship with Danielle.

The characters' behaviors are strange, but are not really consistent. Henrietta is debilitated by her fear of the outside world, but later seems to function in it reasonably well. Inconsistent behavioral quirks seem dropped on the characters at random. The story is about as predictable as what day of the week tomorrow will be. The script strives to leave the viewer feeling good, but not in a particularly believable way. This is a film that relies heavily on a suspension of disbelief in the characters. And perhaps we have had enough films in which psychological problems are considered cute and funny. I rate moments of clarity a high +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10. MOMENTS OF CLARITY will have its US release on March 30, 2016.

Film Credits:

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper