“Land,” which premiered at Sundance, tells the story of a broken woman who discovers hope, resilience and human kindness, all in the remote Wyoming mountains. So how did the film’s leading lady come to helm this tale shot through with tragedy and compassion?
Robin Wright, who has directed episodes of “House of Cards” on which she also starred, says she fell in love with “Land” because she wanted to make a film about “the beauty of humanity and how we do need each other and we do need to be connected.”
The film came together after pitching sessions at Cannes a couple years ago, when Focus Features — “the last group of people that came in on our three-day marathon pitch,” she says — grasped her vision.
In the film, Wright stars as a woman who has suffered an unspeakable tragedy, sells everything and moves to a remote cabin in the mountains to get away from people. Obsessed with being alone, she refuses outside help until local hunter Miguel (played by Demián Bichir) saves her life — and teaches her to live again.
An intense and productive pre-production period made her dual roles on-set more manageable. “You can’t do this in front of the camera and behind the camera without having an incredible team behind you,” she says. “I had three female producers [Allyn Stewart, Leah Holzer and Lora Kennedy] on set all day, every day. And they were basically like my co-directors when I was in front of the camera. We had discussed at length what do we want the tone of this movie to be, and how do we keep the audience engaged with a person that’s up on a mountain for first 20 minutes of a movie without anybody else. So I knew I could trust them. ‘Hey, did we get that take?’”
There’s so much material out there now, Wright’s spoiled for choice. But first, she’s directing episodes of “Ozark.” With more female directors working, “[we have] cracked the ceiling. We just have to give it more time.”
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