After experiencing a family tragedy, a middle aged woman named Edee Holzer (Robin Wright) decides to isolate herself away from the world entirely. She buys a cabin in the Wyoming wilderness and endures hardship in the new lifestyle she has chosen. After a particularly dangerous incident, Edee considers that perhaps she can’t go on completely alone, and befriends a local hunter named Miguel Borrás (Demián Bichir).
‘Land’ marks the directorial debut of Robin Wright and while lacking in anything particularly revolutionary, it’s a pleasant enough watch and generally moving. Viewers may recall ‘Nomadland’ watching the feature, as both follow middle aged female protagonists who have chosen alternative, rather lonely means of living, as they work through a deep sense of grief. Like the Oscar winner, ‘Land’ is also distinguished by some truly stunning vistas, the vastness and texture of the mountainous American landscape brought beautifully to the screen.
Robin Wright has more than proven herself an exquisite actress and she is, once again, incredible to watch here. Demián Bichir makes for an excellent on screen partner also, playing Miguel with a genuine sweetness and good nature versus Edee’s occasional hardness. They share good chemistry and both performances elevate the rather ordinary characterisation inherent to the script.
At under 90 minutes long, ‘Land’ is a short, sweet watch, even if it’s not not overly eventful. But that running length also means the audience is left pondering what they could have seen more of. We learn very little about Alawa Crow (Sarah Dawn Pledge), for example, a Native American who also comes to Edee’s aid, and in fact, by the time the film closes, it occurs to the audience that they haven’t learned all that much about Edee or Miguel either.
While one appreciates the simplicity of the movie, and how it explores the process of mourning as well as ideas like pulling back, learning to be by yourself, and appreciating the little things in life, it generally feels a little undercooked. That being said, its quality is impressive for a directorial debut, and one is stirred by its events, which was the movie’s ultimate objective.