March 21, 2017

I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore

Macon Blair, 2017
Anyone familiar with Jeremy Saulnier's films is going to recognize Macon Blair. Blair has had roles in every one of Saulnier's feature films from Murder Party to 2016's Green Room. The pairing is almost like a dark art-house variant of Scorcese and Dicaprio where Saulnier has clearly found someone he can remain confident in who shares similar sensibilities. All of Saulnier's films have dark elements to them and Blair is responsible for carrying a bulk of the weight of those very tones to the screen in Saulnier's movies. He is a very distinctive actor. More of an internal force, playing more reserved characters who have a certain level of unpredictability to them. With them having so many cinematic collaborations with each other of course one of the big questions going into this directorial debut of Blair's is going to be "does it feel like a Saulnier film in any way"? The answer is yes, but to avoid marginalizing this very good film we should just say it feels inspired by Saulnier in ways but also feels like it really has some identity on it's own.

You could describe this film as an adventure into the underbelly of society, if, say, you caught a junky stealing from you and you followed him home. But junkies don't live in modest homes. They live in condemned houses, or in the woods. So now imagine that you continued to follow this junky into the woods. Instead of getting too creeped out when you find a bum-camp in the woods you decide to get out of your car to further confront the person. Of course the depths that you could venture down with these types of people will continue to descend lower and lower. These are the types of people who lurk in the shadows. They come out at night. Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) is not this type of person. She is a 9-5er who is bound to a mundane daily routine.

Lynskey (who has a lot of indie credits under her belt now- Happy Christmas, Perks of Being a Wallflower, etc) is completely fitting and really nails the Ruth character. Ruth is a person that is having one of those totally identifiable bouts of misfortune. When you feel like the world is just shitting on you over and over again. She drowns her sorrows at home, and when she discovers the break-in the theft of her aunt's silver is the last straw. I Don't Feel at Home reveals itself to be the black comedy that it is when Elijah Wood's Tony character appears. Wood is so great in this movie and it's really refreshing to see him continuing to take on indie roles like this when he could just take a pass on everything and enjoy his Hobbit money.

A lot of elements of this film continue to stick with me days after viewing. Blair has veteran indie sense and clearly understands pacing and character development. I Don't Feel at Home is a movie I will be pushing on the people around me. I am actually eager to get another look at this one again soon. 

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