Sunday, July 26, 2020

I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Movie Name: I Don't Feel at Home In This World Anymore
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Macon Blair
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Christine Woods, Jane Levy, Robert Longstreet, Devon Graye, David Yow, Myron Natwick, Gary Anthony Williams, Lee Eddy, Maxwell Hamilton, Audrey Walker, Macon Blair, Derek Mears, Jana Lee Hamblin
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7 

Synopsis and Review:
"I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore" made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2017, and was bought by Netflix for its distribution. It's actor/writer/director Macon Blair's directorial debut, and he's been a consistent creative partner for Jeremy Saulnier's throughout his output, including "Blue Ruin" and "Green Room". "I Don't Feel..." follows the story of Ruth, a nurse's assistant, who lives by herself, and who upon arriving at home following her shift, is being robbed. The assailant takes her laptop, her grandmother's silver, and the Police when called out to help her out, don't offer much hopes of retrieving anything. Ruth is exhausted from it all, from people being rude, selfish, inconsiderate, and decides to change her perspective and start holding people accountable for their behavior. Her first call to arms, starts with her neighbor Tony, whose dog poops in her lawn, and he never does anything about it. Tony turns out to be very apologetic and quite sweet, idiosyncratic as he may be. When her laptop location pops up on her phone, Ruth asks for Tony's assistance, and off they go to retrieve it. This further encourages them to research what might have happened to her stolen possessions, leading them on a path that gets progressively darker and more dangerous.
"I Don't Feel..." is an interesting film, one that starts as a character study of an ordinary person trying to live her life, the best way she can, only for circumstances to push her out of her comfort zone, and lead her on a path that is almost seemingly out of a David Lynch film (much like "Blue Velvet"). It's a film that allows for the characters to have just enough dimension to hold the audience's attention, though that's also one its slight faults. The film gives hints of the lead characters, without diving a bit deeper and allowing us to understand why they find themselves where they are in that particular moment in time. Macon Blair ingeniously manages to navigate the curt character development, and instead sends the characters on this dark journey, where violence and humor spurts out, quite unexpectedly, but nonetheless allowing for the placid hero, Ruth, to find the inner strength she needs to reclaim her life. In the end it's a very interesting mix of a film, one where Ruth finds her own voice and path, but not through the typical tropes of the indie film trope. Instead, this mix of dark humor, violence and almost John Boorman "Deliverance" style approach, makes this for a very interesting and rewarding watch. The cast assembled is terrific, with Melanie Lynskey, the underrated Elijah Wood, Christine Woods, Jane Levy, David Yow, all creating memorable characters. Worth watching.