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TIFF 2013 Review: Blue Ruin


Blue Ruin

An ominous cloud seems to hang over the main character and his monomaniacal moves in Blue Ruin. The wide-eyed, bushy-bearded, and mostly silent Dwight is dead-set on killing a paroled man who linked to his past.

Initially there seems to be little to Dwight: he sleeps in his car, scrounges dumpsters for food, and sneaks into people’s houses to bathe. He is mild-mannered and measured, but doesn’t, and perhaps cannot, think of any consequences of his actions.

This quiet, barren, haunting look at revenge will make sure you squirm no matter how desensitized you may be to blood, gore, and death. Set in a rather sunny Virginia countryside, Dwight’s journey is a fascinating one as a character who never quite seems to know where he is going until he has arrived. Played mesmerizingly by Macon Blair, the hatred and anger that percolates in Dwight’s eyes turns to love and fear when his sister and her family may become involuntary involved in his quest.

Dwight, after all, seems to find meaning only in vengeance – he wants this man, and everyone associated. He is not a hero, but it’s not sure he is a villain. We sympathize because we spend time with him and become completely invested.

This powerfully staggering drama is fraught with tension and peppered with some relieving awkward humour. Director Jeremy Saulnier creates an unpredictable yet familiar world, as Dwight heads down a path that gets bloodier, darker, and more fateful every step of the way.

Monday September 9 – The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – 8:00 PM
Wednesday September 11 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 – 12:00 PM

[star v=4]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.