Netflix Recommendation: “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore”
A real life experience inspired writer/director/actor Macon Blair’s newest film. When someone broke into his New York apartment and took items that belonged to him and his wife, Blair found out the process to catch the people that did it kind of ended with his report to the police. The same situation occurs in “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore” to the main protagonist Ruth Kimke (Melanie Lynskey) in which she loses her laptop and a set of silver that belonged to her grandmother. Disenchanted with the world around her, Ruth is pushed to her limits when this violation occurs and decides that enough is enough: she’s going to take matters into her own hands. Joined by her neighbor, Tony (Elijah Wood) — the owner of an awesome rat tail and a couple of weapons of his choice — Ruth decides to track down the people who broke into her home and let them know it’s wrong; and that they’re assholes. Unfortunately their mission proves to be more complicated than originally thought and Ruth and Tony get put into a position that is much larger than what they were expecting to handle.
The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this past Sundance Film Festival, “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore” fits perfectly into the cinematic universe that Blair and Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Blue Ruin) have created. It’s this reality that is not unlike our own, aside from the violence that usually occurs, where interesting, off-beat characters are able to take the spotlight and thrive. The narratives found in these films give hope to anyone that doesn’t think they can do something or feels walked all over or misplaced. While exaggerating the way their real life counterparts would probably deal with a situation, Blair makes Ruth’s most satisfying accomplishments come from the small things like standing up for herself and gaining her confidence in ways that others might look right over. At the same time, the character of Tony is also breaking out of his shell to become someone he’s always wanted to be. No more just weightlifting in the backyard to death metal and nunchucking inanimate objects — it’s time to take that throwing star and start doing some damage. My favorite scene is one where Tony throws his throwing star into a wall to intimidate people and then struggles with removing it. When he finally gets it out of the wall, he quietly tries to save face by saying, “That’s how hard I threw it.” It’s moments like that that make you root for these two but, at the same time, realize they are in way over their heads.
This is Macon Blair’s directorial debut and it’s an impressive one. I love films like this that don’t really fit into just one category; instead tend to blur the lines between drama, comedy, and action — much like real life. It creates an exciting movie-watching experience because it breaks down the walls of conventional filmmaking and keeps you guessing at what’s going to happen next. It has a little bit of everything for everyone but what remains the most impressive part, to me, is the way in which these characters are created and how accessible they feel while doing extraordinary things.
“I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore” premieres on Netflix today (Feb. 24th) and shouldn’t be missed.