Title – Land (2021)
Director – Robin Wright (feature debut)
Cast – Robin Wright, Demián Bichir, Kim Dickens
Plot – Traumatized by events in her life, Edee (Wright) purchases a remote property in the Wyoming wilderness where she can remove herself from the outside world. Her hermit lifestyle is interrupted by a chance encounter with Miguel (Bichir), who can perhaps reignite her passion to live a life with human connection.
“Can we agree that you won’t bring me news of the outside world?”
Review by Eddie on 11/10/2021
You wouldn’t call Robin Wright’s feature directional debut (after helming a number of House of Cards episodes in its later seasons) a bad film in the typical sense of the label, but this overly familiar and utterly unsurprising tale of a lost soul learning too love life once again thanks too kindly strangers and the joys of the great outdoors does nothing to distinguish itself from a raft of other dramatic offerings in the same ilk that all managed to carve out more of a unique identity for themselves.
Oddly enough bringing to mind Wright’s ex-partner Sean Penn’s Into the Wild, Land follows Wright’s grieving widow Edee whose had enough of society and decides her best way forward is to remove herself from the human realm and get back to nature in the secluded Wyoming forest, only too quickly discover living off the land isn’t the dream conjured up in text books while being close too other humans may in fact be exactly what she needs to heal from the grief of her past.
The film looks beautiful thanks to its picturesque landscapes and as always Wright is a solid performer, even if Edee isn’t exactly a unique character much like the narrative, but there’s just not a lot that holds it all together here and whilst the film is brief at sub-90 minutes, there’s a feeling of the same ground being covered throughout the film as Edee struggles with one thing after the other (bears, cold, no food) giving the film a repetitive nature that is only exaggerated when Demian Bichir’s kindly Miguel arrives on the scene to reignite Edee’s love for her fellow man and life in general.
Sometimes comfort food is exactly what you need and that’s clearly what Wright and her team were thinking when they designed Land to be consumed by eager cinemagoers and while you wish the best for Edee and eventually her friendship/potential relationship with Miguel, it doesn’t make the film any more memorable or engaging with viewers likely to be hard pressed to remember or recall anything much of note in a film that’s pleasant enough to put up with, without every threatening to be something that engages the heart, mind or spirit in the way in which it no doubt wanted too.
Final Say –
Land offers nothing more than familiar set-ups and experiences for viewers who would’ve undoubtedly seen many a lost soul seeks to find inner peace in the world movies beforehand, making Robin Wright’s passion project an unnecessary and unmemorable drama.
2 outdoor baths out of 5