film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Land 2021 * * * Stars


"I'm here because I choose to be". So says the persona of Edee Mathis in 2021's Land. You as a viewer should "choose" to see Land. It's a somewhat enthralling vehicle that again pits human vs nature.

Land's setting is inclement weathered Wyoming (which masquerades as Alberta, Canada). And it's another film in which the power of scenic beauty can still test your icy lifeblood. As something about a depressed woman who flees the outside world to live in a stodgy log cabin, Land is one of those few flicks in which you want the running time to be about twenty minutes longer. At just under an hour and a half, Land at times gives the moviegoer the feeling of being in an effective, dream-like state. Other times the pic appears a little pat and almost underwhelming.

So yeah, Land features star and first-time director, Robin Wright. Along with giving a solid, nerve-ending performance, Wright also has a keen eye behind the camera. From an acting standpoint, Robin gets her veritable, All Is Lost moment (except that she has more dialogue than golden boy Robert Redford). From a directorial standpoint, Wright is a visual auteur and sort of Terrence Malick-esque. With every zoom, every quiet jiff, every tree branch, every furry animal, every snowflake, and every distanced mountain, it's like the Western Canadian sweep in Land should be framed in a portrait.

In cessation, Land does have a few tense moments where you see the Wright character trying to force herself into dealing with arid isolation. And the movie for the most part, appears widescreen ready. Still, Land ends on a slight whim as a twist is added involving a hunter who saves Edee's life. Overall, the film is just missing something extra, a better dare to be moment of choice perhaps. Safe and zippy "landing".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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