I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Devon Graye. Directed by Macon Blair. Not rated. Available February 24 on Netflix.
It used to be that film fans would have to wait months or sometimes years to see the most talked-about movies at each year’s Sundance Film Festival. In the past couple of years, however, streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime have been grabbing up movies at impressive rates, and the Grand Jury Prize winner at this year’s Sundance—oddball thriller I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore—will be available to Netflix subscribers this week, less than a month after the festival’s end.
Written and directed by Macon Blair, a character actor who has worked closely with director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room), Home has a bit of Saulnier’s flair for extreme violence committed by average people, with sickening consequences. The movie stars Melanie Lynskey as a timid nursing aide who decides to take justice into her own (untrained) hands when her house gets robbed. She teams with her weirdo neighbor (Elijah Wood) to track down the perpetrators, in an odyssey that’s equal parts horrifying and hilarious.
The balance of comedy, violence and philosophical meditations gets away from Blair a bit toward the end, with a messy climax that eventually loses its way. But it’s a promising debut with gorgeous, warm cinematography and a great performance from Lynskey, and now anyone who wondered about the Sundance hype can judge it for themselves.