THIS REVIEW IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KATHY KAISER @matineechat.com
LAND – RATED PG-13 – 1 HR. 29 MINS.
DIRECTOR: Robin Wright
WRITERS: Jesse Chatham, Erin Dignam
STARRING: Robin Wright, Demian Bichir, and Sarah Dawn Pledge
Bringing to the big screen her Directorial debut, Robin Wright also stars in this beautiful and painful story of loss and life, as we meet city girl Edee (Robin Wright), who is trying to come to terms with unimaginable loss in her life, and who can’t seem to find solace anywhere within her present existence. As her therapist, and Sister Emma (Kim Dickens), worries about Edee’s suicidal mental state, and general frame of mind, it seems that the only thing that Edee can do to bring any sort of semblance to her life, is to venture far from the City she knows, to the backwoods of Wyoming. Finding the perfect cabin, nestled high in the hills, Edee attempts to live off a land she knows nothing about, and finds quickly that life in the wilderness can be beautiful, mysterious, and very dangerous, all at the same time.
As the emptiness of loss and the loneliness that surrounds her seems to heighten Edee’s lack of finding a will to live, it seems that winter too, has just arrived. Then when an encounter from the great outdoors, combined with a lack of wood, puts Edee in perilous circumstances, it seems that nature may have just proved too much for the city girl. On the brink of death, and not seeming to mind the fate that seems inevitable for her, hunter Miguel happens upon her cabin, and finds her slipping away from this life. Determined to nurse her back to health, Miguel longs to know why Edee let herself get into such a predicament. Now, as these two forge a friendship and a mutual respect for one another, Miguel convinces Edee to let him teach her the ways of nature, and how to sustain herself throughout the beautiful landscape she is surrounded by, as Edee regains the will to once again face life head on…
Filled with beautiful scenery, and a storyline filled with the pain and struggles that engulfs us as we face great loss, LAND is one of those films that brings all the feelings to the surface, and then some. Writers Jesse Chatham and Erin Dignam created a masterful screenplay that tells a lot of story, without much dialogue, especially in the first 30 minutes of this film. Robin Wright’s performance is top notch throughout too, and picking a piece like this as her first film to Direct, should bode very well for future Directorial encounters she’s offered too. The dynamics throughout this film speak volumes as well, as there are few, but very significant characters throughout, and instead of long-winded diatribes, LAND manages to explain the emptiness and loneliness that great loss forces us to face, all while producing the same physical surroundings, allowing this story to unfold in many directions, without too much explanation or interaction, which I totally found refreshing. I also loved the way that LAND explains our humanistic way of distancing ourselves from others when we are in pain, but then realizing that the interaction with other humans is an innate want, and need within each of us, if we can just get past all the pain, that life sometimes throws your way. LAND is going to be spiritually uplifting for some viewers, but it could be very uneasy viewing for others too if this storyline gets too close to your own life experiences. So, before you head out to the theater or stream LAND on any of your streaming services, please keep in mind that this film is as emotionally affecting, as it is visually stunning, the whole way through.
3.5 out of 5 Stars