Jill and I have settled on a Free for All month for November because December will most likely be Shit Christmas TV Movies month. Look, we’re not machines and thinking of themes every month is hella difficult. So movies from our wish lists it is.
Second review of the week (check out the first one here), just because this film is worth a mention, and Jill and I just happened to catch it respectively as soon as it hit Netflix this weekend.
When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.
Have you ever just had the shittest day? One so bad it prompts you to question everything, including your place in the world? Ruth has.
Not only has she just been burgled, she’s also been shamed and let down badly by the fuzz. She’s fucking pissed. And when the police fail to help her a second time, she decides to take matters into her own hands with a little help from her odd neighbour Tony (Wood).
This vigilante business has a tendency to spiral out of control though, and does when Ruth gets back her laptop but not the family silver, bequeathed to her by her late grandmother. Grandma appears like a vision at intervals throughout the film to gee Ruth along in her quest, like she needs the encouragement. She’s got would-be ninja Tony for that.
The unlikely duo unravel the mystery of the missing silver via a series of clues and good old-fashioned luck, but accidentally stumble onto a scene much bigger that they ever expected. There’s a lot of violence and some life lessons learnt along the way, but of course.
Getting mixed up with some super nasty characters, including messed up Christian (Graye), psychotic Dez (Levy) and their leader, Marshall (David Yow) leads to a lot of blood shed. The question is, will Ruth ever get her silver back? And more importantly, will she get the one thing she really, really wants: for people to just stop being arseholes?
Well, there’s only one way to find out, motherfuckers.
Macon Blair‘s directorial debut wasn’t going to be overly fluffy now, was it? The star of the truly excellent Blue Ruin and Green Room (by director Jeremy Saulnier) has picked up a few tips along the way, and is undoubtedly a filmmaker to keep an eye on. By blending humour with hyper-violence and wonderfully real observations, Blair has basically got the winning formula. I couldn’t love him more.
There are elements that are just so perfectly executed that they’ll surely stick in the mind for some time. Highlights for me include Melanie’s memorable bedtime story to her friends kid, in which she ponders the injustice of a stranger breaking into her own home, her eye-watering run in with the elderly owner of a junk shop (ouchy) and a particularly vivid puking scene.
Melanie Lynskey’s Ruth is so identifiable and authentic. Jill commented in a message to me that it was refreshing to have her dress as a real woman and that’s so spot on. She’s a woman you’d be friends with, the one you’d have a pint with on a Friday night – and I want more of that. Wood too, is starting to grow on me and you best believe I never thought I’d say that about Frodo.
I love this movie, I love the tone, the detail, all performances and Jane Levy (always). I can’t wait to watch it again to be honest – or see what Macon does next.
5/5. Excellent and couldn’t be more my cup of tea.
What did Jill think of this? Did she want to break it’s fingers or go on a vigilante road trip with it instead? Find out here.