beats bowling. As police forces are increasingly emasculated by the
professional activist sector, vigilantism could become a good date activity.
Ruth Kimke and her neighbor might just be ahead of the curve for once. However,
they are ill-prepared for the desperate scumminess of the villains they will
hunt in Macon Blair’s Netflix-produced I
Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore, which premiered at this year’s
Sundance Film Festival.
life was already pretty sad. Having her laptop and her grandmother’s silver burglarized
sends her to the end of her tether. It is really more about the revulsion for
having her space invaded than the actual stuff (though the loss of her
connection to her beloved grandmother is a real bummer). Of course, the cops
can’t/won’t do Jack Straw, so when she locates her laptop’s GPS, she recruits her
neighbor Tony, the only member of her limited social circle who would be
willing to join her.
turns out the punks with her laptop bought it semi-legitimately from a dodgy
second-hand goods retailer. That leads to another ugly scene, but it also puts
them on the trail of the thief, an entitled thug recently disowned by his
exasperated wealthy father. Rather inconveniently, Kimke’s campaign of
righteous indignation has complicated the more ambitious plans he has cooked up
with his lowlife associates.
IDFAHITWA might not be a
cinematic revelation, but it is mordantly funny and briskly paced. Blair
(probably best known as the lead in Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin) takes a shrewdly understated approach, shunning the
over-stylized excesses that often weigh down otherwise promising neo-noir gene
indies. Instead, he gives Melanie Lynskey space to create a full and complete character
study of an ordinary working class woman under unusual stress.
is also unusually evenhanded in the treatment of Tony, the goofy sidekick,
suggesting maybe a Jesus freak with pretentions of martial arts virtuosity isn’t
the worst guy to have around, when you get right down to it. Likewise, Elijah
Wood teases out Tony’s daffy charm and makes his various tics, like outbreaks
of prayer at times of sudden pressure rather reasonable, all things considered.
As you would expect from Blair’s recent credits,
IDFAHITWA has a dark sensibility, but
it is never nihilistic. Frankly, it is quite pleasantly enjoyable, which is
definitely something. Considering the genre portfolio Wood is building, it will
definitely wind up on a lot of Netflix-generated user-profile lists.
Recommended for fans of colorful Fargo-like
crime dramas, I Don’t Feel at Home in
this World Anymore screens again this morning (1/20) in Park City, tomorrow
(1/21) at the Sundance Mountain Resort (remember that is haul from PC, UT), and
Wednesday (1/25) and Thursday (1/26) in Salt Lake, as part of the 2017 Sundance
Labels: Elijah Wood, Macon Blair, Sundance '17