Director: Nicole Holofcencer
Writers: Ted Thompson, Nicole Holofcener
Staring: Ben Mendelsohn, Natalie Gold, Thomas Mann, Edie Falco
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: September 14, 2018

This is not a happy movie, but it is a good one. The Land Of Steady Habits delves into the pit of depression and anguish of one recently divorced man and examines how his relationships change and effect himself and those around them. Yes, The Land Of Steady Habits sounds like a character study, and that it is. A strong leading performance carries this Netflix original past the territory of mediocrity and into recommendation land.

Ben Mendelsohn plays Anders, a man who is struggling to find happiness after retiring from his soul-sucking job and ending a marriage he was unhappy in. While trying to sort himself out during a mid-life crisis, Anders becomes friends with his former friend’s son, Charlie Ashford. Their relationship is one of reluctance yet acceptance. They understand each other best while disagreeing on a multitude of life decisions.

Mendelsohn and Charlie Tahan, and that odd friendship they act out in the movie, is what trends The Land Of Steady Habits in the right direction. Tahan plays the depressed teenager drug addict very well and Mendelsohn is good in everything he is in. Mendelsohn is best at blending pity with annoyance; you understand his plight and why he is in a rut but are struggling with the choices he is making in trying to climb out of the hole. That is where his son, Preston (Thomas Mann) comes into play. It’s another strong performance for a character that acts as a lighthouse for Anders wandering soul.

The Land Of Steady Habits is worthy of a watch. It may not make you smile, but it’ll make you think.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)

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