The Female Gaze: I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore

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I am a big fan of watching movies in your own home, curled up in a blanket by yourself, or with your roommates on a Friday night, so I’m using this week to give you an opportunity to do that. In addition to traveling to Ashley Square Cinema, I will  alternate my film column with some movie reviews from Netflix, specifically some Netflix Originals that I like.

This week, I’m reviewing on “I Don’t Feel At Home in this World Anymore,” which is a hidden gem on Netflix. Starring Melanie Lynskey as Ruth, Elijah Woods as Tony, and the best character throughout the film, the dog named Kevin, this film takes an interesting perspective on what happens to people after traumatic events. After a home robbery, Ruth becomes paranoid and obsessed with catching the people who robbed her.

Because Ruth no longer feels safe, she tries very hard to regain control in her life. By teaming up with her neighbor Tony and Kevin (his dog), Ruth begins her journey to discover who robbed her, and becomes caught up in a crime scene she did not want to be in. This film keeps the audience right next to Ruth and makes it easy for them to empathize with her, even when she becomes reckless.

And while this movie focuses on the darker theme of feeling unsafe or unworthy, it is remarkably funny. There are many moments where you find yourself giggling because of the absurdity of the plot or the characters specifically Tony – he’s a wild one. There is a balance between serious moments and moments where the audience can exhale and relax a bit, which make for a good watching experience.

Additionally, this film uses your stereotypical indie style techniques and evokes vintage aesthetics. The film feels like an intimate study of Ruth and her relationships with Tony and the rest of the world. The visuals help establish this closeness to Ruth and are still engaging to the audience. And the costuming and setting of the film help give it an indie vibe. Setting this film in a middle class suburban neighborhood, and then pivoting to an upper-class neighborhood, really adds depth to the film and the character’s surroundings. Also, Ruth and Tony’s costumes seem to be based in 80’s fashion and work well to characterize them, even before we experience their  dialogue. Ruth is more of a jean jacket type of girl, while Tony dresses like Dwight Schrute if he wanted to be a punk rocker.

And don’t just take my word for it, this movie won the Grand Jury Prize in 2017 at the Sundance Film festival. So grab your favorite blanket, and your roomies and check this dark comedy out! See you at the movies or on Netflix!