A movie review that’s not entirely a movie review.
This past weekend I made my way over to the Cinemark Asheboro, my first time visiting there, to see a film. I chose the movie "Land" which looked to me like a great movie for me. It looked to have beautiful, sweeping scenery and might be an atmospheric drama, which I knew I'd love.
The Cinemark Asheboro
The movie theater was nice enough, once I got through the pothole landmines of the parking lot. If you've never been there, drive slowly and carefully as the parkinglot and roads leading into the Randolph Mall are pretty awful. There's construction everywhere so hopefully they are working to improve that. But, be forewarned. One hole I hit with my car made me worry on the drive home that I'd get a flat tire. It was rough..
I'd bought my ticket online so I bypassed the line, grabbed a soda from the concessions, and made my way to my seat. I was the first to arrive in the cinema room I was in, and I was happy that purchasing my ticket online meant that the seats around me would not then be for sale. I had room to be comfortable, and enjoy the movie in a Covid-friendly, masked and distanced environment.
The welcome staff were friendly enough, though I kept the interactions brief. I tried to stay away from everyone, pandemic and all. The seats were very comfortable! The movie began and I settled into my own personal space, ready to lose myself in film.
The Cinema Isn’t Only for Families and Couples (Stop thinking it is!)
Consider this half movie review and half encouragement to those of you who love movies, film, cinema, and everything in between. Stop waiting for a movie buddy or a date and get out there to see the movies that you want to see! Loving yourself and all the self-care in the world are fantastic, but heading out the door for a date with yourself, to do something yourself wants to do, is also a way to love yourself and have a little fun.
The women’s directed and primarily acted “Land” was the perfect movie date with myself. It’s gotten me to thinking, not only about the movie itself, but about self-date nights and all the why not’s in my life as a single woman. I want to go camping (but alone?) Why not? I want to see that movie or try that new restaurant or take that trip. But…alone? Again, why not?
Date Night With Yourself at the Movie Theater
When is the last time you took yourself out to a movie? If you have never seen a movie alone, it’s an altogether different experience. Climbing into your own space with nothing but the noise of cinema, the moving pictures, the escape, and the burst of reality afterward when you open the doors to exit the theater. There’s no after-conversation, small-talk; “what part did you like?” but just a quiet walk to your car with the scenes of the movie moving through your mind.
And, I love it. If you’ve never seen a movie alone, then you’ve never really had the full cinematic experience, in my view. It’s just one of those things you have to experience for yourself, without apology to the world around you for (*gasp*) doing something — alone. In fact, it is a lot of fun choosing the movie without one thought about whether or not the movie would make all members of your party happy, or how much it’s going to cost for all that popcorn. Nope. You only have to please — YOU! In fact, I hate popcorn!
My Review of ‘Land’, with Robin Wright (Directing and acting)
Land, featuring (and directed by Robin Wright) is an atmospheric drama
About this film:
Movie Title: Land
Runtime:1 hr 29 min
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Director: Robin Wright
Sarah Dawn Pledge
My Experience and Thoughts on the Film
This is the perfect movie for me to see right now, being a woman recently made single, I know the agony of loss and that empty, maybe even a little crazy, feeling that you can’t seem to shake off. You are not yourself. A shell of a person, you struggle to navigate the world in your new, bleak reality.
Edee, played by Robin Wright, is a woman who has suffered unbearable loss. She finds herself incapable of relating to other human beings and just wants to be as far away from it all as she can. She buys an abandoned cabin in the wilderness of Alberta, Canada, where she ditches her phone, her car, and all her ties to the world.
A brave thing or a stupid thing for a woman who can’t even figure out how to chop wood? You decide. But I’m leaning toward reckless, careless, fearless — because when you are hurting that deeply your own personal safety becomes something you can toss aside. It becomes almost something you despise. That whole breathing in and out thing that goes on and on — in spite of your pain.
Edee takes her pain with her to the wild and beautiful Canadian wilderness. As a voyeur to her pain, it’s both relatable, and devastatingly beautiful to see a woman wrestle with her own soul in the wild, like we’ve seen men do film after film, and book after book. We likely wouldn’t call them stupid for trying to bury their pain in the soil and blood of earth. We’d wait for their moment to rise and face the bear, right?
“Why are you helping me?”
“You were in my path.”
— snippet from the movie.
This brief interaction floored me.
There are few actors in this film but two you won’t find mentioned in the cast list are: the scenery and the sound. If you are looking for an immersive experience, without all the action and fast-paced movement and dialogue of many movies, you’ve come to the right film. The wilderness scenery makes you want to ditch your electronics and take a hike, alone and vulnerable, and feel that risk, that wild wild way that used to be living for all our ancestors. Survival-living we’ve broken ties with generations ago. This movie has all of the wild eye-candy you need for an immersive visual escape. The tension in that beauty is something many of us have not encountered. Like there is a dangerous price to pay for being that close to God. (At least that’s my take.)
Secondly, the sound reel for this movie was mesmerizing and at times joyous. I felt swept away by the beauty, the emotional investment, and the alluring tone of this film and really enjoyed it, though the pace of it may not be for everyone. This is a film not for your entertainment, but to challenge your own connection to yourself, to other people, to your pain, and yes, to this earth. And finally, a woman led the way to the wilderness.
The NYT featured this movie as a “Critic’s Pic,” focusing their review more on the dangers that winter brought Edee, and on her unexpected friendship with Miguel, a stranger who became the catalyst for Edee’s healing and subsequent surviving, then living.
I’d give the movie 4 stars, because there was a bit of an ambiguous ending that didn’t fully satisfy my curiosity. Also because the pacing of the movie was a bit slow at times. There wasn’t a lot of emotional relief (not necessarily comic relief, though there was a small bit of that) and as a result it felt “heavy” at times. As a whole, I appreciate the depth and the journey this film took me on — and yes, all by myself.
And finally, a woman led the way to the wilderness.
Would I see it a second time? Yes, when it hits streaming — but once in the theater was enough for me. I am glad I got to experience a movie like this on the big screen. The sights and sounds were savory, even in the midst of a sorrowful storyline. After all, we could all stand to take our pain into the wilderness sometimes. The wilderness is a brutal teacher and a patient healer. Would I go back to Asheboro Cinemark? Absolutely. I have been to many movie theaters and left with an aching bum and back — not here though. The spaceous and comfortable seating made all the difference for me.
How about yourself? What adventures and experiences will you plan for yourself? Go. Do it.
Thanks for reading this essay from a single and independent writer who’s a fierce advocate for self-care, authenticity, and living your best life — even when it’s hard.