The Land of Steady Habits (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Land of Steady Habits (2018)

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Critic Consensus: With typically sharp work from writer-director Nicole Holofcener and finely layered performances, The Land of Steady Habits is one mid-life crisis worth watching.

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Writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said, Friends with Money) brings us a drama about parenting, loss and the consequences of our self-destructive behavior. The story features a deeply flawed male protagonist whose tragic mistakes impact and inform the complex relationships in his life. Far from a recognizable tale of a middle-aged rake in crisis, this is an emotionally resonant portrait of a fractured family explored by one of our most keenly observant directors. Feeling trapped in the stifling, wealthy enclave of Westport, Connecticut, Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn) retires from his job in finance and leaves his wife (Edie Falco) in the hopes that it will renew his lust for life. However, he's quickly faced with the startling reality of his choices; he spends his days looking for things to decorate his empty shelves, sleeping with strangers and feeling terribly lost. Missing his ex-wife and on the outs with his troubled 27-year-old son (Thomas Mann), Anders befriends a drug-addicted teen (Charlie Tahan), sending him down a path of reckless and of deeply regrettable behavior. His shameful actions cause him to question who he is as a father and, ultimately, who he is as a person. Adapting her screenplay from Ted Thompson's 2014 novel, The Land of Steady Habits also stars Connie Britton, Elizabeth Marvel and Bill Camp.

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Cast

Ben Mendelsohn
as Anders Hill
Thomas Mann
as Preston
Edie Falco
as Helene
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Critic Reviews for The Land of Steady Habits

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (12)

A great actor when his motor is running fast, Mendelsohn is surprisingly attractive at slower speeds and better when Holofcener makes him twist.

September 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Laying it all out with a piercing authenticity, Holofcener makes us hope that the wait till her next feature is not quite so long.

September 13, 2018 | Full Review…

The decision to spend a little time on a lot of different characters results in a splintered story that muddles - rather then clarifies - its protagonist's roundabout journey back to himself.

September 13, 2018 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Really bad decisions are made, people lie, no one convincingly grows. Lest this be taken as biting commentary, the music, stilted dialogue and epilogue assure us it's in earnest.

September 13, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

As the tone wobbles between absurdity and tragedy, it also starts to shift toward something deeper and more bittersweet than mere midlife ennui.

September 13, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…

No detail ever seems to go unnoticed in Holofcener's world, and viewers could spend the entire running time simply admiring her powers of surveillance.

September 13, 2018 | Full Review…

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