Rated PG; Directed by Ali Selim; Starring Elizabeth Reaser, Tim Guinee, Alan Cumming, Alex Kingston, John Heard, and Ned Beatty
This lovely little film unexpectedly won me over. With a gentle romance and look at the immigrant experience, “Sweet Land” is a heartfelt, moving story. The plot? A beautiful foreigner and an uncomfortable farmer face obstacles as they try to make a life together. It is amazing how such a simple story can prove so satisfying.
Within a flashback we see young Inge (Elizabeth Reaser), a young German who comes to America to marry dour Olaf (Tim Guinee), finding life in 1920 Minnesota difficult. With World War I just ended all things German are despised in the farming community and Inge is not trusted. Even Pastor Sorrensen (John Heard) doesn’t approve and refuses to marry Olaf and Inge. Inga and Olaf are stuck in a limbo – unable to marry, but arranged to marry – and that’s when love sneaks up on both of them.
The cast excels. Elizabeth Reaser is beautiful as the feisty Inge, Guinee shows us the strong emotions hiding under silent Olaf. The two do not say much so their eyes do a lot of the communicating. Alan Cumming, Alex Kingston, John Heard, and Ned Beatty round out the cast.
Beautiful moments abound in the movie, whether a walk across the fields as the Northern Lights shimmer in the night sky or a shot of the golden wheat fields that Olaf and Inge harvest by hand, the film takes advantage of the scenery.
“Sweet Land” is a beautiful movie. Go see this story of love and determination and see if, like me, you are totally won over.