'Land' Review With Casey

Feb 23, 2021

Actress Robin Wright (Wonder Woman 1984, 2020) co-produces and stars in her feature film directorial debut as an emotionally shattered woman retreating from life in the drama Land. After suffering a deep loss, a quiet woman moves into an abandoned cabin alone with no car, no electricity, no running water, and no phone deep in the mountains of Wyoming. Suffering dangerous winter storms, wild intruders, and persistent hunger, this woman places herself firmly in her grief with no intentions of escape.

Land reminded me of other nature-centered dramas Leave No Trace (2018) and Wild (2014); all patient richly emotional films about people reacting to tragedy by leaving their ordinary lives to find a new one. With only one person on screen for much of the film, Land is simple, understated, and serene. It's not terribly concerned about taking viewers on a gripping or energetic narrative. Instead, it's a quiet exploration of a woman's emotional topography in the face of isolation, death, and help.  

 

Robin Wright's performance is about as shaky as the Hoover Dam, and her acting is a wonderful example of focus, consistency, and moderation. Similar to other recent independent films from 2020 centered around one woman's identity (like The Assistant, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and Swallow), Land successfully embraces a currently popular style of storytelling in film that uses as few frills as possible.

 

Although the characters and dialogue aren't as juicy or as multifaceted as other films in the current awards season (which is probably one of the reasons this film hasn't received any nominations), Land is still an earnest portrayal of life enduring.