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Review: Robin Wright learns a lesson in human connection in 'Land'

Wright stars in and directs sparse, affecting tale of survival

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

A woman moves to a cabin in the mountains in Wyoming to get away from it all in "Land," a moving drama in which she learns the old U2 adage: sometimes you can't make it on your own. 

Robin Wright stars as Edee, who early on is seen packing her belongings in a U-Haul and moving out of Chicago and into the wilderness. It's clear from flashbacks she's trying to get away, but we're not immediately told from whom or why. 

Robin Wright in "Land."

When Edee gets to her cabin, she asks her guide to have her rental car picked up. She fully intends to go it alone, catching her own food, cutting her own wood and living off the land. 

No phone, no computer, no contact with the outside world. But also no training and no experience, and she soon learns that hunting, fishing and gardening is more difficult than it seems, and she nearly starves to death during a brutal winter. 

She's left for dead on her cabin floor when she's rescued by a hunter who's passing by. Miguel (Demián Bichir) helps nurse her back to health, and over time they form a unique friendship, one based on mutual privacy — he has some things he's holding back as well — and respect. 

"Land" is directed by Wright, her feature debut, after she helmed a handful of episodes of "House of Cards." And it moves at a brisk pace, unfolding at first as a "Cast Away"-style story of man vs. nature and evolving into a lovely, sobering meditation on friendship and the value of human connection. It's a sparse story with no fat around the edges, and everything is revealed in due time, at its own pace. And the ending, well, it lands just right. 

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama 

'Land'

GRADE: B+

Rated PG-13: for thematic content, brief strong language, and partial nudity

Running time: 88 minutes

In theaters