Saturday, March 4, 2017

[Review] I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore

Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood are the offbeat duo in the Netflix Original, I Don't Feel Aat Home in this World Anymore. If you think that title sounds a lot like melodramatic emo material, you wouldn't be completely wrong. But the film itself is primarily a darkly comedic thriller with low-key shades of loneliness, isolation, and snapping frustration.

Ruth (Lynskey) is a timid and reserved nursing assistant who reaches a new level of jaded after her house gets broken into and burglarized. With no help from the police, she teams up with her oddball neighbor Tony (Wood, with a rat tail that rivals Shia LaBeouf's in American Honey), a morning star and nunchucks enthusiast who seems to have been preparing his whole life for a time like this. When the two set out to recover Ruth's belongings, they get caught up in a local crime ring. And things get ugly.

This comes as the directorial debut of Macon Blair, who has starred in both of Jeremy Saulnier's color-coded and heavily lauded films, Blue Ruin and Green Room. And it appears Blair has drawn some influence from his buddy. While not as visually striking or narratively intense, the film brandishes a rusty white trash element and is splattered with messy, head-clobbering violence that brims with a slightly sadistic sense of humor, all clashing in a bat-crazy climax.

The consistently great (and underrated) Melanie Lynskey gives a pitch-perfect reactive and proactive performance as an unassuming individual who's suddenly being thrusted into a disheveled and dangerous world, while Elijah Wood is thoroughly amusing in full-eccentricity mode. And even though these two are first acquainted during an altercation about dog poop on a front lawn, what I liked about this combo is that they're less a mismatched pairing and more not-so-different loners wasting away in a decaying town where any semblance of kindness has gone down the drain.

I won't repeat the title again, but I do recommend plopping down on the couch, slicing open a bag of sunflower seeds, hitting the Netflix button, and letting this film rip.

( 7.5/10 )

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