dir: Robin Wright
You have to feel a bit bad for Robin Wright. I mean you personally don’t have to; you’ve got more than enough on your plate.
Always the bridesmaid. She was in that series House of Cards where they discovered Kevin Spacey had been the main character for years, like it was a surprise, then they got rid of him, and it didn’t last another season with her as the lead. She was married to Sean Penn, which couldn’t have been easy, but she gave some tremendous performances in films he directed. And now she thought, it’s my time to shine. She tried, goddamnit. Along came a story she felt was so good, she had to star in it and direct it, and it would give her the plaudits and respect she deserved after such a long and celebrated career.
It’s a story about a woman who’s isolated, who’s grief-stricken, who sets out to live a different life from the one she led before away from civilization.
But the problem is, well, this came out just after Nomadland, didn’t it, so she looks like an also-ran, even down to calling her flick Land.
So probably not for the first time in her life, all the awards and adulation that could, that should have flowed to her, instead flowed to Frances McDormand.
Fuck, that’s got to burn you up inside a little bit. Maybe not. Maybe Robin Wright is just happy if a handful of people see what she put together with her own two hands. Because, considering the timing, I doubt even Wright’s friends and family have gotten to see this thus far.
It’s…they haven’t missed much. It feels churlish to compare the two films, even if they start from a similar place, even if they start with similar protagonists. The character here has so much grief about something that she doesn’t even tell anyone what she’s grieving until the very last few minutes of the movie. So for most of it we’re wondering why she longs for death so much.
A city woman moves to the very remotest part of Wyoming, with no intention or plan of ever leaving. She buys an unpowered shack, and basically, though she has taken some rudimentary steps to prolong her life, and brought some tools with which to live off the land, she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and it really looks like cover for wanting to die without explicitly committing suicide.
Which is a pretty grim fate.
Before she made the move, we see her desperate sister (Kim Dickens) trying to make contact with her, and when this main character of Edee played by Robin Wright throws her mobile into a bin we know she doesn’t want that contact at all.
When she gets to the cabin she asks the realtor to organise for someone to come and collect the rental car and the trailer she used to get there. When he says something like “you need to have a vehicle, being out here, so isolated” she makes noises like “yeah, nah, not an issue.”