Thursday, January 11, 2018

Now on Netflix: I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore (2017)

I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore (2017) - Written and Directed by Macon Blair; Starring Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Devon Graye, Jane Levy, David Yow, Christine Woods, Robert Longstreet.

By Kenny Howell

A few years ago, Jeremy Saulnier broke onto the scene with the film Blue Ruin, which was widely praised but was a mixed experience for me.

It was a story about a man trying to get revenge, but he is just a normal dude, so he wasn't very good at it. It was dark, and sort of fun, but there was a feeling it should be so much more. The star of that film was Macon Blair, and he must have a type because he has written and directed his own film very much in that genre, I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore. I think he has outdone Saulnier a bit (though Saulnier's second film Green Room was very, very good). The way people felt about Blue Ruin, that there was this fresh new voice on the scene in the Coen brothers vein, I feel about Macon Blair and his Netflix original film.

Part of the reason it works so well is Melanie Lynskey (Little Boxes) in the lead. She is one of the most underrated, underused actresses around, and here she plays a nursing assistant who is fed up with humanity. That boils over when someone breaks into her house and steals her laptop and a few other personal possessions. When the cops don't really do anything about it, she takes things in her own hands with the help of a strange neighbor with ninja stars Tony, played by Elijah Wood (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). They find the burnouts that broke in, and things spin horribly out of control.

What Blair does well is find that balance in comedy and horrible things going on around it, often in the same scene. That is what the Coen brothers have done well in these type of films. Fargo is a masterclass on it. Blair gets it and Lynskey and Wood are more than capable of handling both sides of that. It is a bit of a genre in itself nowadays, and Blair has shown that he is more than capable of carrying on that torch.

I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***1/2

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