In The Nowhere Inn, musician Annie Clark (St. Vincent) collaborates with best friend Carrie Brownstein to create a documentary about her life and music. Finding the largely private and mundane life of Clark uninspiring, the collaboration takes a turn for the bizarre when Annie takes Carrie’s suggestions of livening up the documentary a bit too far as the stage persona of St. Vincent increasingly takes control. The mockumentary fits snuggly within the filmmaking-gone-awry genre, as Clark and Brownstein struggle with how to present authentic selves, as questions on the meaning of identity, fame, performance, and sincerity threaten to disrupt the completion of their film.
Written by Clark and Brownstein, and directed by longtime television director/editor Bill Benz, The Nowhere Inn occasionally gets lost in its own self-referentiality, but when it does find the right paths it’s a charming ride. Lavish sequences showcase the ingenuity of the lead pairing, who play off one another and pull out some of each other’s most vulnerable character traits in truly sincere and often amusing ways. Clark’s increasingly erratic behavior leads to a series of rash and over-dramatic turns for the film within a film, leaving Brownstein to try and pick up the pieces. 92 min.