FOR RUTH, THE LAST STRAW WAS A SPOON.
Nursing assistent Ruth Kimke (Melanie Lynskey) discovers that someone has broken into her home and enlists the help of an eccentric neighbor (Elijah Wood) to track down her stolen laptop. The director’s debut is a very entertaining thriller-comedy that finds a perfect vehicle for Lynskey who’s funny and likable as a girl who usually accepts being put down in life, but that burglary changes her attitude. The crazy pursuit of the thieves has unexpected consequences; the second half of the film is brutal but also deeply human and disarmingly absurd. Good performance by Wood as an odd fellow who wants to come across as a tough guy, but finds that his new acquaintance is the one who’s in charge.
2017-U.S. 93 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Mette-Marie Katz, Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani. Written and directed by Macon Blair. Cast: Melanie Lynskey (Ruth Kimke), Elijah Wood (Tony), David Yow (Marshall), Jane Levy, Devon Graye, Christine Woods.
Trivia: Originally shown at the Sundance film festival, then released on Netflix.
Last word: “My feeling was this: [Lynskey and Wood] got 25-year careers under their belts, they know what they’re doing. I’m not really going to be able to tell them a whole lot that they don’t already know. So I just asked them what they needed from me, and then tried to stay out of their way. We’d make little adjustments as we went, but we had already had these exhaustive conversations before we started shooting. When we finally got on set, I tried not to give them too much, and just trust them to do their thing. That’s basically what happened.” (Blair, No Film School)