Review by Dan Skip Allen
Robin Wright has come a long way since her days in The Princess Bride. She's had quite a career since then, including an award-winning turn in House of Cards. She's played a lot of wives and mothers in her career. After starting off in soap operas, she's transitional nicely into films. Her career has had a lot of ups and downs. All of this experience has led to directing, producing, and starring in her debut Land.
Wright plays a woman who has just gone through tragedy in her life. She gives up all her earthly possessions and goes off to Wyoming to live off of the grid. She has to live off of the land. It's harder than she thinks to just leave everything behind and live in a little cabin in the mountains. She finds this out firsthand the hard way.
Land, what an appropriate title for this film. Along with Wright's character, the viewers are immersed in the mountains, rivers, and lands surrounding her little cabin. Shots of gorgeous vistas are littered throughout the film. Wright puts the camera in places where the viewer is looking through trees and reeds of grass as she and her one friend played by Demián Bichir walk through beautiful snow-covered mountains. He teaches her how to live off of the land. The cinematography is amazing in this film.
Wright has to show a side of herself she's never shown in a film before. She is battered by the elements and broken, almost to the point of no return. There have been other movies similar to this one such as Jeremiah Johnson, Wild, and A Walk in the Woods, but none of them are as visceral as this one. You see first hand how this land is not easy to survive on. The little details of learning how to hunt and trap are shown with the skill of a seasoned director.
This film gets to the point of what it's getting at very quickly. It doesn't mess around. It throws the main character in a fight for her life situation right away. That leads to a not so long runtime. That's a good thing because it doesn't drag out this survival story for very long. There aren't a lot of characters in the film, so Wright gets to shine all on her own most of the time.
Wright's entire career led her to this moment in her career. She has had the experience and knowledge to help her make this film. It was a long time coming. Wright, Bichir, and everybody involved deserves a round of applause, because Land is truly an accomplishment.
Land hits theaters on February 12.