Land

April 28, 2021

Review, Theatrical, This Week Leave a Comment

A film of feminist moxie and self-discovery, Land does exactly what the title states, albeit with some wobbly footing.
land

Land

Hagan Osborne
Year: 2021
Rating: M
Director: Robin Wright
Cast:

Robin Wright, Demián Bichir, Kim Dickens

Distributor: Universal
Released: April 29, 2021
Running Time: 89 minutes
Worth: $12.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

A film of feminist moxie and self-discovery, Land does exactly what the title states, albeit with some wobbly footing.

In Land, it is unclear if self-exiled wilder-woman Edee (Robin Wright, who also serves as director) is on a mission of recovery or self-destruction.

Her draw to the wild, thematically becoming of many films which explore reprieve as a means of reckless abandonment from city and family, is one driven by great tragedy.

There is a thematic heft to Land that makes it surprising to learn that it is not an adaptation of a novel (the screenplay is by first timer Jesse Chatham, with regular Wright collaborator Erin Dignam (Denial, The Yellow Handkerchief, Submergence) brought in for a rewrite). The trimmings of many journey-into-nature films – a primal awakening driven by suffering; repair following loss; a like-minded kindred saviour (coming from the alluring drawl of Demián Bichir) – are present but lack the sweet grace of those before it.

The familiarities to similarly premised films, including the likes of recent Oscar winner Nomadland (likely overshadowing this film’s release), are there, most prevalent in Wright’s application of screensaver worthy scenery to depict the elasticity of the soul and humanity’s deep-seated connection to the environment.

As evident, it is difficult to speak of Land – a film functioning as a well-trodden metaphor on restoration – without it sounding didactic. That is not to say that there is no nourishment to be had, with performances from Wright and Bichir delivered with sincerity.

Wright in particular, who appears in every scene, brings an earnest grit that carries the film throughout its brief running time. It is just a shame that this power could not be felt by the audience, with the first-time director unable to offer something indistinguishable by way of style or storytelling. Wright proves capable as a storyteller; however, it is very apparent Land is a directorial debut.

A film of feminist moxie and self-discovery, Land does exactly what the title states, albeit with some wobbly footing.

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