|Stars||:||Robin Wright, Demián Bichir, Sarah Dawn Pledge, Kim Dickens, Warren Christie, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, Brad Leland, Jordan Bullchild, Dave Trimble, Rikki-Lynn Ward, Mia McDonald|
|Overview||:||Land (2021) : Edee, in the aftermath of an unfathomable event, finds herself unable to stay connected to the world she once knew and in the face of that uncertainty, retreats to the magnificent, but unforgiving, wilds of the Rockies. After a local hunter brings her back from the brink of death, she must find a way to live again.|
If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ https://www.msbreviews.com Who doesn’t appreciate Robin Wright’s career as an actress? Every time I see her name attached to a film, I can’t help but feel excited about it. So, obviously, any movie with her would be one of my most anticipated films of Sundance. However, the main reason why I was highly expecting Land wasn’t due to her acting credit, but because this is her feature directorial debut. Her performance didn’t disappoint me, though, much on the contrary. Wright continues to prove her talent time and time again, delivering an incredibly captivating interpretation of a character who demonstrates that perseverance and the will to live can work as a healing method in the worst of times. An extraordinary character-study written by Jesse Chatham and Erin Dignam. However, it’s her role as the director that surprises me the most. Her vision is clearly depicted through sumptuous cinematography (Bobby Bukowski) and an original score (Ben Sollee, Time For Three) that becomes part of the narrative. In fact, I dare write that without its music, Land would lack that special element to elevate everything as a whole. Well, to be fair, the Rockies hold landscapes so jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring that I would sincerely enjoy just staring at this movie for its sceneries. It’s one of the best-looking films I’ve seen in the last few years, and that’s a key component because story-wise, there isn’t much action or impactful events going - except for the last couple of revelatory minutes - which might become tiresome for some viewers. It’s a bit odd how usually, I don’t see great replay value in this type of movies, but I genuinely want to revisit this one for its visuals and score. I can’t end this review without praising Demián Bichir, who offers a performance as remarkable as Wright’s. Absolutely phenomenal. Land is an outstanding feature directorial debut from Robin Wright, who also delivers one of my favorite performances of hers. An incredibly inspirational film that relies on its unforgettable visuals and an extremely engaging score to present me with one of my favorite movies of this year’s Sundance. Without the shadow of a doubt, it’s one of the most gorgeously shot films I’ve seen in quite a long time. Every single scene is filled with an awe-inspiring landscape in the background that took me to the beautiful snowy mountains in such an emotional manner. Thank you, Bobby Bukowski, for your jaw-dropping cinematography, but it’s Ben Sollee and Time For Three’s score that elevate the overall picture in a way that without their music, the storytelling would suffer tremendously. Demián Bichir also deserves as much praise as Wright when it comes to their acting displays. Jesse Chatham and Erin Dignam’s screenplay isn’t groundbreaking, but Land breaks my personal tendency of feeling that this type of movie lacks replay value. I’ll rewatch this sooner or later, and I recommend everyone to do the same. Rating: A-
Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots
The unforgiving conditions that accompany the jaw-dropping beauty of nature set the stage for “Land,” the directorial debut from actor Robin Wright. Wright stars in the film as Edee, a woman who can no longer live in the world she’s always known after a tragedy shakes up her entire reason for being. Suicidal and heartbroken, Edee withdraws from the life she once knew, abandoning it all and heading to a secluded cabin in the mountains. With no survival training, she soon finds herself with little food and no means of communication. When the end seems near, a good samaritan hunter (Demián Bichir) comes to her rescue and is able to save her in the nick of time. The film reads like a meditation on grief and the nature of isolation, with an unhurried pace that lingers over gorgeous scenery of mountains and streams. Much of the first half of the film consists of a lot of staring off into space with handsome, snow-covered backdrops. You feel as if you’re right there with Edee, especially when her sadness takes over. There isn’t much story here, and Wright reveals just enough to preserve the mystery. The film’s pacing may still feel too slow for some, but there’s a purpose. The survival story develops into one of friendship, as the man helps Edee find the human connection that she’s been missing. He teaches her how to hunt and live off the land, which saves her life in more than one way. The pair find strength in each other, and Edee begins to live again. The burden is overwhelmingly on Wright to turn in a powerful performance since she carries the majority of the film, and she succeeds. She portrays Edee with a quiet determination and rugged grace that is both inspiring and heartbreaking, and she has a terrific chemistry with Bichir. “Land” is a poignant story of both isolation and companionship, taking audiences along on one woman’s journey to discover how to live again.