⋆⋆⋆ out of four stars

Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and partial nudity.

Where: Wide release.

Robin Wright has a grueling role in "Land," and she has no one to blame since she cast herself.

Wright makes her directing debut with the survival drama in which she plays Edee, who is trying to recover from a tragedy whose details we don't know at first. Wright spends half of the movie sobbing uncontrollably and the other half shivering in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains, which Edee may have chosen because there's an excellent chance she'll either freeze to death or starve there.

That Edee survives, at least long enough for there to be a 90-minute movie about her, is due to the intervention of Alawa (Sarah Dawn Pledge) and Miguel (Demián Bichir), who help her figure out how to take care of herself in the middle of nowhere. One of the most interesting things about Jesse Chatham and Erin Dignam's intuitive script is its recognition of the privilege involved in making the indecisive decision to head into the mountains. As Miguel points out to Edee, lots of people have it harder than her and lots of people don't have the good fortune to meet the exact strangers who will rescue them.

"Land" is a movie about both the kindness Edee is shown by the strangers and the kindness she learns to give herself. That's where the Rockies come in. As shot by Bobby Bukowski, a cinematographer who often makes the most of low budgets, the spectacular vistas literally surround Edee, a constant reminder that there is still plenty to live for.

Chris Hewitt