LAND – Review by Susan Granger
Building on the experience of helming several episodes of House of Cards in which she also starred, Robin Wright drops all vestiges of glamor to direct and star in this wilderness saga.
Following a devastating, unfathomable loss, Edee Holzer (Wright) is determined to leave Chicago and all civilization far behind her. Buying an old cabin high in Wyoming’s Rocky Mountains abutting the Shoshone National Forest, she discards her cellphone, returns her rental car and tries to live off the land: “I’m here in this place because I don’t want to be around people.”
But she was raised in a city, and all she knows is what she’s read in books. While she stocked the larder for the long winter, she’s seriously misjudged her survivalist skills. Soon, Edee is, literally, freezing and starving.
Fortunately, a hunter, Miguel Borras (Demian Bichir) passes by and returns with a nurse, Alawa (Sarah Dawn Pledge), who revives Edee. Then, showing both respect and compassion, Miguel patiently nurses Edee back to health.
When Edee asks why he’s helping her, Miguel says: “You were in my path.”
Seasons change, as Miguel shows Edee how to garden, fish, trap and shoot a deer. Although they converse very little, their friendship slowly grows as they learn to respect and understand each other.
But then Miguel no longer visits, and Edee’s curiosity overcomes her reluctance to leave her solitary mountain retreat.
Scripted by Jesse Chatham and Erin Digman, it’s confidently directed by Robin Wright, working closely with cinematographer Bobby Bukowski to establish a resonant, meditative narrative of kindness and human connection.
Wright notes: “We are all aware of so much tragedy in our world…and, for a long time, I have felt a pained awareness of those left behind in the aftermath. What happened to them? How did they find their way? This is a story of one woman’s journey to find her lost self after the life she knew changed in seconds.”
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Land” is a stark, survivalist 7, a chronicle of spiritual renewal.