Film Review: Freeland

Devi is like a fish out of water

American independent cinema is a great breeding ground for some of the best actors, but that doesn’t mean they all go on to achieve fame and fortune. Despite coming to the profession relatively late, and not making a breakthrough until starring in nephew Trey Edward Shults’ critically acclaimed debut, Krisha Fairchild is fast proving to be one of the most exciting talents working today. In Freeland she gives another astonishing performance.

Devi (Fairchild) has been growing legendary strains of pot in her rural Californian homestead for decades now. As a former hippy, she continues her practice as ever, supplying to a small but reliable bunch of customers and employing a handful of loyal helpers. However, with the State’s legalisation of cannabis she faces a problem. Either invest in a modernised and expensive legal business she doesn’t understand or potentially face the wrath of the law and bankruptcy.

Freeland is a beautifully made debut feature about a generation of Californians who are being left behind by progress. Mario Furloni and Kate McLean’s feature debut benefits for giving its characters the air to breathe. This is enhanced by the Furloni’s beautiful cinematography. However, despite an impressive supporting cast (including Lily Gladstone and Frank Mosley) it’s Fairchild who is the undoubted star. Once again, she mesmerises in front of the camera. Giving Freeland the powerful centre it needs for such a quiet story.

Freeland is in select US theatres from 15 October and on demand from 19 November.

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