It does the heart good to see someone as deserving as Macon Blair meeting with the success that’s been coming to him. He was such a gnarly treat in Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin and Green Room (portraying an ill-prepared vengeance-seeker in the former, a neo-Nazi flunky in the latter) and then made waves of his own this past January when his directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore took home the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. A new announcement today indicates that he’s getting bumped up to the major leagues, with a bigger budget and name-brand stars at his disposal.
When Melanie Lynskey’s Ruth, a depressed nursing assistant, goes to the home of the thief who stole her laptop and grandmother’s silverware, the thief’s father offers to pay her off. When she refuses money he asks, “Well what do you want?” “Everyone to not be such an asshole,” she says earnestly. In I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore Ruth is on a mission, not just to get her belongings back, but to try to understand why everyone around her perpetually sucks.
The life of a mid-to-lower-tier band on tour ain’t for the faint of heart. Sleepless nights spent driving the red-eye shift, siphoning gas to save a little pocket change, going days without showering, accidentally driving into the occasional cornfield — it takes a dedicated soul to see it through. But even months spent crashing on floors and couches in kindred souls’ apartments can’t measure up to the torrent of hell that befalls the Ain’t Rights, the tightly-knit punk outfit at the heart of Jeremy Saulnier’s supremely brutal new feature Green Room. Being hungry and smelly is unfun; accidentally witnessing a murder, getting locked in a small room by neo-Nazis hopped up on crank, and viciously picked off one by one is another matter entirely.
One of the most unexpectedly pleasurable treats at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September was Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, a brutal, nasty thriller with the technically accomplished filmmaking to back it up. The indie filmmaker’s follow-up to his Sundance smash Blue Ruin was measured just right on all fronts, intense but not over-the-top, clever but not smart-alecky, alternativ