I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is a bleak, somber film about the narcissism of human nature, painted with a sharp comedic edge and a solid dose of ultra violence. While a film like this could easily fall into blind anger with no motivation, director Macon Blair crafts a clever narrative based in humanity’s selfishness and its affect on a woman and her life. There’s few conclusions to be drawn from the film, but it’s an interesting thematic piece with some genuinely shocking moments.
After a group of thieves rob her house, Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) sets out to find her property when authorities seem to put off her case. With the help of her eccentric neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood), Ruth gets caught in a dangerous crime ring when her search for the thieves that robbed her reveals a more sinister plot. Wood is a hilarious side character with many of the film’s best comedic moments, but it’s Lynskey’s performance that steals the film; a character with this much self indulgence could easily prove irritating, but Lynskey crafts a heroine that is never too eccentric to test reality, yet never falls into the cliches that a character like this might feature.
The film’s opening moment expertly detail the motivation for Lynskey’s character, and despite some fun action in the second half, the film’s crime saga ultimately becomes too complicated for its own good, and ends with a denouement that’s kind of a mess. Despite that shortcoming, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is a surprisingly relateable film about empathy, anchored with a pitch black wit and elevated by it’s brief, yet pivotal, moments of optimism. Grade: B-