2021 Sundance Review: Land

Director(s): Robin Wright

Writer(s): Jesse Catham, Erin Dignam

Cast: Robin Wright, Demian Bichir

Synopsis: A bereaved woman seeks out a new life, off the grid in Wyoming.

Land is the directorial debut for Robin Wright, and while she is able to capture some beautiful landscapes, I was never really enthralled by the movie as a whole. It just felt off, and there were some good things about it, but I think with a better director at the helm this could have been a really good movie.

Robin Wright really does give a powerful performance. Even though for most of the film we don’t know why she is in pain, we understand her pain, and Wright makes it so easy to sympathize with Edee. Some really good moments of extreme and physical acting that proved she still has what it takes to create a hurt character. For a lot of the movie she is on her own, and she is still able to bring in some real emotion to those scenes and moments of isolation.

Really, where the film got lost was in its direction and script. Really some strange stylistic choices and moments that made me feel like she was doing too much, and too little at the same time. The narrative of the structure of the film never felt like it was in the right place, and I wasn’t sure if I should be putting together this puzzle or just letting it find its path. The script just felt off for the majority of the film. It never really knew where it was going and just left me kind of indifferent about the whole thing.

This film isn’t all bad though, as I said there are some beautiful landscape shots and the score is wonderful, plus Wright truly does put her all into this role. I just think there wasn’t a foundation for her to stand on and was really just left me kind of in the middle on it as a whole.

Final: Land features a powering performance from Robin Wright, but where her acting stands with some of her best, her direction leaves a lot to be desired. The beautiful landscapes and score couldn’t help this from being just an average movie.

Grade: C

2021 Sundance Coverage

2021 Film Rankings

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Daniel Power Copyright Focus Features LLC 2020

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