Coming from director Robin Wright and Focus Features is a story of sadness and living in a dark place hoping to be rescued by the LAND.
Edee Mathis (Robin Wright) has packed up her life, thrown away her cell phone and went to live high up in the mountains where no one could possibly find her. Filled with an anguish she can not seem to control, Edee has also left behind sister Emma (Kim Dickens).
The cabin she now calls home is in disarray, in badly need of repair and sparse in furniture but each day Edee gets up and finds something to do. Her goal is to become totally self sufficient and live off the land with no help from anyone nor want to see anyone. When the winter comes, she had no idea how ill prepared she truly is.
In the middle of a storm she meets Miguel (Demian Bichir) and Alawa (Sarah Dawn Pledge) who try to help her. Edee and Miguel start up a friendship based on need, Edee needs someone to teach her how to hunt and Miguel needs to be a teacher. The line is drawn when she makes it clear that she has no interest in the outside world.
Fishing, hunting and gardening become her life with occasional visits from Miguel. Just when she is becoming comfortable, he announces that he might not be back for a while. Edee accepts it until time passes and she realizes that something is wrong. Now she has to decide if leaving her cabin will give her answers.
Wright as Edee is absolutely magnificent or maybe I just wish I could almost do what her character has done without the reasons of course. This character is stuck in a pain that permeates every pour of her being and Edee has not found a way to make sense of it. Wright gives us stages of sadness, discovery, angst, growth and acceptance – not only of the past but of her life. It is a deep portrayal by an actress who takes an emotional chance.
Bichir as Miguel is a man who accepts Edee for who she is and does not try to press and keeps his word on the outside world. Teaching her what it takes to survive in the mountains that she does not intend to leave, Miguel wants to at least make sure she can feed herself. As their friendship grows, he shares his humor, laughter and even vocals surrounded by the beauty of a place they both love so much.
Pledge as Alawa is a friend of Miguels but sees what Edee is putting herself through. Dickens as sister Emma has no idea where Edee has gone and wants to be there for her but Edee has made other plans.
Other cast include Warren Christie as Adam, Finlay Hissong as Drew, and Brad Leland as Colt.
Focus Features’ mission is to make a lasting impact on global audiences by creating the home for artists to share diverse, distinctive stories that inspire human connection. Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies that brings entertainment and news to a global audience. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.focusfeatures.com.
LAND is a twenty-nine day shoot and directorial debut for Wright and every frame is sheer perfection. The story is one of grief and the will to continue, even survive, when it is impossible to grasp it all. Wrapped also in the film is finding that place in the world where Edee can deal with it in her own unique way.
Another aspect of the film is the story of friendship between Edee and Miguel because they are so much alike. Miguel does not ask questions and Edee does not offer answers. Their friendship is solely based on hunting, drinking coffee watching the sunset over the vastness of her land and a wave of ‘see you later’ when they part.
That may seem strange to some people but in this film it works brilliantly. Both Wright and Bichir are so very talented that together they fill every inch of the screen with their characters. The film is slow paced and does not drag one bit, then again if it did I certainly did not feel it. Between the beautiful cinematography, the storyline and the two actors, LAND is a feast on so many levels of a wonderful film that is an experience.
In the end – a story of humanity in the face of uncertainty.