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Finding the right balance between subtle and sentimental, Sweet Land moves beyond other similarly-themed dramas with evocative cinematography that plays an equal role to the talented cast.
All Critics (73)
| Top Critics (26)
| Fresh (62)
| Rotten (11)
| DVD (6)
Here is a nicely photographed, but bland, insipid and weirdly passive-aggressive little film.
Echoing Malick's 'Days of Heaven' in the way it captures the majesty of the American countryside, this is a small gem that's worth seeking out.
A film of uncommon grace, one that transports you to an America that seems innately familiar even though you have never seen it depicted on-screen quite like this before.
As opposed to the bulk of low-budget films, the look here is lush and beautifully crafted; even the make-up is excellent.
Terrific acting, a perfectly captured period setting, and a simple, aching farm courtship, that's all Sweet Land is.
Sweet and low-key, Sweet Land is a movie that likely will leave you wishing you liked it more.
Ali Selim's visual masterpiece recalls the stark artistry of Terrence Malick and Western lyricism of Larry McMurtry, as it turns every frame into a picture postcard of stunning beauty.
Exceptionally photographed and remarkably performed by actors Tim Guinee and Elizabeth Reaser, Sweet Land is modest, but demonstrative, eager to detail a love story that sustains for a lifetime.
The flashback structure adds nothing but length to an already awkward mix of humanist-socialist parable and gently halting love story that's been sat on a shelf since 2005. But even so, it's a surprisingly sweet little treat.
At once epic and intimate, Sweet Land offers a stirring account of love and hardship which, aside from a muffed Capra moment towards the end, hardly puts a foot wrong.
Nostalgic, gentle, loving: the elegiac mood set against endless rural space inevitably suggests Malick's Days of Heaven. What next from this considerable talent?
Our movie of the week - which isn't saying much - arrives in the shape of this atmospheric slice of Americana about an arranged marriage deep in the heart of rural Minnesota.
Worth seeking out, this bare tale of a German immigrant's attempt at assimulation in a wartime Minnesota suspicious of any foreigners is steady and sure, and beautiful throughout, not rushing to its long telegraphed conclusion.
What a nice movie! This is a perfect example of the kind of movie that I am always searching for. One of those little gems that I can curl up on the couch and let myself be carried away by. I just loved everything about it. I originally found it by searching for movies that Elizabeth Reaser was in. I really like the roles she chooses. I am so happy that I stumbled across this wonderful movie.
Really good movie.
[font=Century Gothic]In "Sweet Land," Inge(Elizabeth Reaser) arrives in Minnesota in 1920 from Europe with a suitcase and a phonograph, hardly speaking any English. After a long wait at the train station, her fiance, Olaf(Tim Guinee), and his friend, Frandsen(Alan Cumming), pick her up but at the church, the minister(John Heard) is shocked to hear that Inge is German, refusing to marry them.(There being a great deal of anti-German prejudice in the wake of World War I and her membership in the Socialist Party does not help.) Frandsen's wife's(Alex Kingston) cousin(Ned Beatty), a banker, cannot help and the local official says that only proper documentation will suffice.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Sweet Land" is a charming and luminous movie with a good cast but sadly the climax is both predictable and contrived. The movie's structure is rather intriguing as its framing sequence is set in not one time period, but two; the 1960's where Inge's husband has died and the present day where Inge's grandson, Lars, now middle-aged considers selling the family land. These two settings set up the major themes of the movie, love and the importance of land, perfectly.(A common refrain is "farming and banking don't go together.") This is love not just in a romantic sense but for all of humanity and all nationalities.(At one point in the past, everybody in this country had an ancestor who came here from somewhere else.) The main setting, the 1920's, is an age of progress(which sadly does not include birth control) for the farmers but also one of economic turbulence. [/font]
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