Robin Wright (House of Cards) directs and stars in her first feature film about a woman whose grief causes her to isolate herself from society in the Wyoming wilderness.
After a tragedy which left her near suicide, Edee (Robin Wright) makes a decision to start living her life on her own. She buys an isolated and dilapidated cabin set in beautiful pristine woodlands with spectacular views of mountains, forested slopes, and wide clean rivers.
There is no phone connection, transport, electricity, or running water – the place is filthy and there is a long-drop toilet. However, she is going to be self-sufficient with the non-perishable food she has brought with her, growing food from seeds, trapping wildlife, and using a fishing line.
Perhaps it is slow suicide that she has planned. There are flashbacks of wishful visions of her lost husband and son and her sister (Kim Dickens) who tried to dissuade her from the decision to separate from the world she has internalized.
The planted seeds are a disaster, the traps don’t work, there are huge winter snow storms and howling wolves, the cabin roof leaks when it rains, and a destructive bear ruins most of the food. She can’t even chop wood.
Having eaten her last can of frozen chilli, lying unconscious on the floor and near death from starvation and exposure she is found by Miguel (Damian Bichir), a lone hunter who has noticed smoke coming from the chimney on his way past the cabin.
Miguel nurses her back to health and agrees to not ask questions about her private life or bring influences from the world outside. Slowly a friendship develops and she learns from him how to exist in the wilderness, and ultimately reconnect with humanity.
The screenplay was written by Jessie Chatham and Erin Digham. There is minimal dialogue or backup story.
The film is sometimes wordless for long stretches. It is basically a two-hander and Edee is rarely off screen. Filmed in Alberta, Canada, Bobby Bickowski made the most of the sweeping views, and the musical score is suitably sombre.
A well-acted and contemplative story of loss, friendship, patience and hope – which pushes credibility at times.
Now showing at Luna Leederville.
Watch the trailer…