First time director Macon Blair’s cumbersomely titled I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, which he also wrote, debuted on Netflix over the weekend. It’s a straightforward but nifty independent thriller. Melanie Lynskey stars as Ruth, a depressed, put-upon nurse who has come to believe that life is pointless: We live, we die, we are forgotten. She’s bored with her mundane life and the assholes with whom she is surrounded until she is oddly liberated by a break-in to her home.
Thieves take her computer, her grandmother’s silver, and some prescription medication, but the police are uninterested in pursuing the case. So, Ruth enlists an off-kilter neighbor with some mean nunchuck skills (Elijah Wood) to help her track down her belongings. That pursuit takes them on an increasingly wild course that eventually leads to mayhem and violence.
There’s not a lot of subtext here beyond gaining a new perspective on life by virtue of seeing others lose theirs. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore starts slowly and contemplatively in one genre and crescendos until a hell of a final act that seems to take place in another genre altogether, one that has more in common with Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room (which featured Macon Blair in an acting role). However, the two genres play well together. Melanie Lynskey is — as always — superb, as she evolves into this generation’s Parker Posey, while Elijah Wood continues a streak of oddball indie roles designed to ensure that no one ever finds him sexually appealing again.
It’s not an earth-shattering film, but it makes for solid Netflix fare for a Saturday night, and it’s a must-see for the Lynskey enthusiasts among us.