Macon Blair’s directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, which he also wrote, is a black comedy with serious balls, and as such, this film won’t be for everyone. I love subversive and unexpected material, and this nasty little Netflix acquisition goes to some truly bizarre, and often times (for me at least) hysterical places; it’s just a question of if you think watching someone getting their hand blown off at close range by a shot-gun is funny. As always, it’s about context, and the slimy degenerates featured in this wild narrative mostly get what they deserve. The plot shares a Falling Down vibe, with Melanie Lynskey essaying a character who probably lives down the street from everyone reading this — the sort of person who is fed up and sort of directionless and at odds with most of society, and revolts against the random idiocies that life throws their way. The film details her attempts at moral revenge against a hoodlum who breaks into her house and steals some of her belongings.
Her dark and twisted odyssey opens up a can of transgressive worms she could never have expected, and is forced to deal with some sinister baddies who feel as desperate as they look unclean. I loved how grimy and odd this film is; it’s got an off-kilter vibe I really dig. Shot in some really questionable areas of Oregon with down and dirty aplomb by stylish cinematographer Larkin Seiple (Swiss Army Man, Cop Car), this scrappy indie features Elijah Wood in an off-beat supporting role as Lynskey’s unlikely counterpart in all of the madness, and to her credit, Lynskey, who was so excellent on HBO’s recently cancelled marriage dramedy Togetherness, charts the uneasy narrative waters with serious gusto, investing her character with plucky spirit that hopefully helps her by the end of the blood-soaked proceedings. I can’t wait to see what Blair, who so memorably starred in the brilliant thriller Blue Ruin and appeared in Jeremy Saulnier’s hard-core follow-up, Green Room, does next as a filmmaker. Something tells me that he’s not likely to lose his perverse edge.
Review by Nick Clement