Strong dialogue, an intriguing screenplay, and smart direction are the strengths of “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore,” and oddball (but in a good way) directorial debut from writer and actor Macon Blair. Blair obviously learned a thing or two on the set from director Jeremy Saulnier (after acting in his gritty and violent “Green Room” and “Blue Ruin”). This film pays homage to the tone set in those two films, but has a twisted, dark humor twist that sets it apart.
Melanie Lynskey takes the lead role as the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” Ruth, a woman who is fed up with basic human indecency that she witnesses on a daily basis. When her home is burglarized and her laptop and grandma’s silver stolen, she teams up with her slightly off-kilter misfit neighbor Tony (a seriously cool and kooky performance from Elijah Wood) to track down the perpetrator and exact revenge. This dark and sarcastic look at society has plenty black humor to counterbalance the bloody violence and somber undertones.
The story follows a basic crime thriller outline but it has a decidedly indie voice and an original, engaging story. It’s chock full of weirdness at every turn but luckily, all of its quirkiness doesn’t feel forced. The abrupt (and at times downright startling) shifts in tone can be a shock, but there are plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. There’s a natural flow to the strange turn of events, and the credible performances keep the film humming along towards its very bizarre and offbeat conclusion.