I first read about BLUE RUIN in the American Cinematographer Magazine and was instantly drawn to its story and visual esthetic. The director chose to shoot the film before having his 3rd child and without the luxury of a proper budget opted to buy his own camera to give himself more flexibility. Following a failed fundraising campaign he decided to fund the film himself. The passion alone is inspiring. I've been toiling with the idea and desire to sit down, write and push myself to make my own film lately so it's encouraging to read about other filmmakers and their successful determination.
This is one of the most interesting films I've seen this year. The story concept is nothing new. We've all seen a version of it on TV or in some action film but what separates Blue Ruin from a crime drama series is the way the subject matter is approached and treated. It puts the viewer in the "what would I do" situation in a refreshingly honest and raw way. Without spoiling anything the film is essentially about a man haunted by the loss of loved ones and seeking revenge against the perpetrator. He acts upon it and we experience the consequences with him as he tries to deal with the result of his actions. It's one of those stories where a character is faced with a domino effect following a choice he made and is thrown on a roller coaster which defines more than just himself. It reminds me of Walter White (Breaking Bad) and how fascinated we were with his every move. The tone and pacing of the film just suck you in. Very much like Winter's Bone, it's a character driven thriller which asks questions about family and human nature.
As i mentioned above, I feel incredibly inspired by this film because it was done on a very limited budget with the passion of its creator. People always say you shouldn't wear too many hats on any given project, which I very much agree with. 99% of the time the project suffers from it. But there's that 1% which actually gains from one's complete control and devotion. Ultimately it comes down to vision and knowing what you're doing. Of course another thousand factors are involved but I'm not going to get into it here. The point is Blue Ruin is among that 1%. Its director/cinematographer/everything else Jeremy Saulnier created a beautifully complete film. Writing, direction, cinematography, editing, sound, music and just about everything else are orchestrated in perfect fashion and each part of the craft rightfully contributes to supporting the story. This is what filmmaking is about.