Dwight (Macon Blair) is an avenging angel in a button down shirt. Driving a wrecked GM “blue ruin,” his mission takes him deep into hillbilly country. Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck” bit? Dwight takes on a twisted family of them, called the Cleland’s. Dwight’s kin and the Cleland’s have been feudin’ an’ fightin’ for some time. His parents are dead and he thinks he knows who killed them.
Dwight has a strange innocence, stammers and seems on the verge of tears even while committing mayhem. He takes to his violent quest even though he’s never fired a gun before. An old friend (Devin Ratray) helps him out in that regard. His sister (Amy Hargreaves) is understandably nervous about his arrival.
Written and directed by Jeremy Salnieur, Blue Ruin’s dark humor will appeal to fans of AFI Fest favorite Sun Don’t Shine (2012), another Southern Gothic murder story. Blair was in Salnieur’s earlier Murder Party (2007). Drawn primarily from the ranks of the indie world, the cast of Blue Ruin is convincingly small town. One of the pleasures of the film is to watch Dwight as he reconnects with old friends and enemies. His journey takes him finally to the lair of the Clelands where past, present and future collide.
Blue Ruin screens at AFI Fest on 11/08/2013, 9:30 p.m. and 11/12/2013, 5:15 p.m.