I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. (2017)

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.
Director: Macon Blair
Writer: Macon Blair
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Devon Graye, David Yow, Jane Levy, Myron Natwick, Gary Anthony Williams, Lee Eddy, Macon Blair, Christine Woods, Robert Longstreet
Seen on: 30.5.2021

Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) is a nursing assistant. Meek and quiet, she has a hard time standing up for herself. But when she finds her house robbed one day and the police absolutely unhelpful, she decides to embark on her own investigation. She asks the neighborhood weirdo Tony (Elijah Wood) for help, and they try to figure out who took Ruth’s things.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. is a quirky film that doesn’t forget that quirkiness isn’t a substitute for actual characterization. It could have profited from a little more tonal consistency, but I did enjoy it for the most part.

The film poster showing Tony (Elijah Wood) and Ruth (Melanie Linskey) standing with very serious looks in front of a garden fence.

A film that casts Melanie Lynskey front and center knows what it’s about with regards to actors and characters. She is simply one of the often overlooked actors who always deliver perfectly but always seem to be stuck in supporting roles. In any case, she gets her chance to shine here, and she does: Her meek Ruth is just as believable as the one who grows more into herself and her confidence. And in a movie that likes to veer off the beaten path a lot, her emotional presence keeps the film grounded. A film with Tony in the lead couldn’t have worked, I think, despite the fact that Wood also knows how to make Tony more than just a joke.

Of course, that’s not all the work of the actors – they need a script to go from and Blair’s script gives them enough to work with. The script is at its best when it comes to those two, and when it is simply funny (one of the funniest moments is Blair’s own cameo). Later in the film, it suddenly becomes very violent and bloody. I don’t have a problem with gore per se (I am a horror fan after all), but it did catch me off-guard, and I’m pretty sure that it will hit other people, who do mind gore, unexpectedly as well. A little more consistency would have been good.

Tony (Elijah Wood) and Ruth (Melanie Linskey) observing something from the car.

Even though Ruth and Tony are at the heart of the film and their characterization is certainly the strongest part of the film, my personal highlight was Christine Woods’ Meredith. On paper, she is nothing but the rich housewife stereotype, but somehow Woods manages to transcend the material. Meredith is funny and smart and mischievous and drunk and lonely and a survivor. I adored her.

While I did enjoy a lot about I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore., it does feel like it doesn’t quite reach its full potential. That last little bit that would have me really love it just wasn’t there. But sometimes, liking something a lot is enough – and that’s certainly the case here.

Tony (Elijah Wood) and Ruth (Melanie Linskey) in the second hand shop, looking for Ruth's stuff.

Summarizing: very good.

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