Blue Ruin doesn’t have the feel of a typical revenge movie.
The first scene depicts the life that Dwight has submerged himself in for years. Living out of his car on an Atlantic Ocean beach, he is bathing in a house that he broke into when the owners come home. From his actions around the beach and his car/home, it is clear that he has lived this sort of life for some time. Years.
And then a policewoman arrives and shatters this limbo he has been inhabiting. She clearly knows him, well enough to care to bring him to a safe place before giving him upsetting news: the murderer of his parents is being released from prison.
Macon Blair who plays Dwight does a superb job speaking with his eyes. Throughout the movie, we see terror, pain, and regret in them. This is not the life he wanted, one of a vagabond or avenger. He was thrust into both roles due to circumstances created by others.
An affair by his father set in motion a series of events that led to murder after murder, including Dwight’s murder by his half-brother, who was the outcome of his father’s affair decades earlier.
Along the way, Dwight learns the truth but the truth does not set him free or end the feud. Killing begets killing until nearly all are dead.
I searched for information about Macon Blair but in this age of everything being on the internet, I was surprised by how little I found. I was impressed by his performance in Blue Ruin and wonder if his other roles were as noteworthy.