Land Movie Review
As good of a directorial debut as you can ask for, Robin Wright’s Land may not be anything new, but it’s nonetheless a moving tale of survival and overcoming grief.
Wright also stars as Edee, who, after losing her family in a tragedy, moves to a cabin in Wyoming to start fresh, and avoid anything that could remind her of her past. One issue that quickly emerges, however, is that intentions don’t mean much when you don’t actually know what the hell you’re doing.
One half survival film, the other about mental recovery, Land is a surprisingly absorbing film. Wright smartly draws the audience in by focusing on the physical challenges her character faces before digging into the more complex material to come. The survival elements are straightforward, believable, and grounded; Wright puts her considerable in-front-of-the-camera experience to use here, staging an effective sequence of events that leave her hanging on death's door.
The second half, while still good, isn’t quite as engrossing; there’s nothing to the story that hasn’t been seen before, and given her character’s near-death experience earlier, it’s not surprising that the movie takes her down the expected path of restoration and return to the life she's been running from. Still, it’s all deftly done, Wright completing her character's arc in an organic and compelling way.
While Land may not break new ground, the drama serves as an impressive debut for Wright, and a worthy watch for anyone interested.
This movie was reviewed as a part of coverage for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.