Ben Oliver

Now
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film

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

It’s not your lawn tiger.
16 January 2023

A woman (Melanie Lynskey) teams up with a neighbour (Elijah Wood) to track down some burglars who broke into her house.

A fine directorial debut from Macon Blair that borrows more than a little from Blue Ruin, where he played the lead. The moody forest hues, strange American suburbs and long stretches of quiet punctuated by sudden violence are all familiar, which is no bad thing.

What this brings to the table are wonderful performances from Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood, both offbeat and interesting but not affected or trying too hard. The world around them is swamped with these weird, larger-than-life Coen Brothers type characters but the leads are grounded in some sort of reality.

The bone-dry sense of humour is also reminiscent of the Coens. Perhaps it tries a little too hard for laughs here and there but mostly it’s self-aware enough to know when to push for comedy and when to pull back and be a thriller.

Perhaps I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is a tad derivative in style and tone, but it suceeds anyway because of great writing, a sharp sense of comedy and excellent acting.