Land Review – Gripping, Mesmerizing, A Directorial Triumph

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Land, from Focus Features, brings to the screen a compelling story of overwhelming grief as tragedy dealt the harshest blows leaving one woman to search for meaning, and find herself, in the vast and harsh American wilderness.

The film begins with Edee, played by Robin Wright, sitting in a therapist's office trying to answer questions when the loss has left her without the ability to process. Sitting seems to be the extent of her ability. Her life, as she knew it, has forever been changed and she is at the abyss.

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With grief driving her, she decided to remove herself from society and purchases an abandoned cabin in the Wyoming mountains. Leaving every aspect of society, she throws her phone in the trash, and asks the realtor to return the truck to the rental company.

Purchasing what supplies she believed would keep her, she clearly had little survival training and her fight which was now with the "gods" was proving to be a bit more challenging. While the weather held, she was able to fish. Winter arrived early, and left wild animals looking for food also.

An early morning trip to the outhouse, was interrupted by a bear. Walking into the cabin, he trashed the cabin destroying the supplies leaving her nothing. The destruction brought the volcanic rage to the surface and screaming at no one, everyone, the wounded, the gods, she decides to commit suicide.

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Unable to pull the trigger, she is without even common sense at this point. With no food, she is near death, she is unable to start a fire, the wood is frozen and wet. She collapses on the floor.

The "gods" intervene at this point. A passing hunter, Miguel, played by Demián Bichir, finds her and phones Alawa, played by Sarah Dawn Pledge, a local nurse. Between the two of them they slowly bring her back from the brink of death.

We see instantly the changes in the cabin. Miguel has taped plastic over the windows to reduce the cold, chopped wood for the fire, which is stacked inside, outside, on the porch and not directly exposed to the elements and not brought enough blankets.

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With her health slowly improving he continues to return to the cabin with supplies. With her guard still shielding her from feeling, she explains her terms for their continued relationship. He agrees and becomes her guide, teacher, confident, and friend.

Slowly her skills become improved. He teaches her to trap, to skin a deer, she manages to plant a garden not devoured by the local wildlife. With Miguel teaching her the ways of the mountain, she begins to change. Over time, life returns to her. The trauma, ever present, slowly subsides, although the wound is still very accessible, and one word becomes a lightning rod.

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Land is riveting. Robin Wright's directorial debut, she draws the viewer into this gripping and captivating story of love and loss. The emotions, hurt, heartache, and in the end, the passing of life, is palpable.

Carrying double duties, as actress and director, Wright and Demián Bichir, bring this compelling, absorbing story with authenticity. Nearly upstaged by the wild of the Rockies, the cinematography is stunning.

A hypnotic tale of lost souls wounded by the randomness of life and the healing balm of compassion and kindness. Land opens in theaters February 12, 2021. Mesmerizing. See it.

Country: USA.

Language: English.

Running Time: 88 Minutes.

Directed By: Robin Wright.

Written By: Jesse Chatham, Erin Dignam.

Produced By: Allyn Stewart, Lora Kennedy, Leah Holzer, Peter Saraf.

Starring: Robin Wright, Demián Bichir, Kim Dickens, Sarah Dawn Pledge.

Release Date: February 12, 2021.

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