“The Land of Steady Habits,” written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, debuted on Netflix early this month. It tells the story of Anders Hill (portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn) and how life changes for him after his retirement and divorce. Retirement is expected to feature some of the most relaxing and enjoyable moments of one’s life. But for Anders, things turn out completely different.
Anders Hill starts as a successful working man in the finance industry but decides to quit for an early retirement.
After divorcing his wife Helena (Edie Falco), Anders can no longer afford the payments on the house they once shared. He moves out, although he still had to make payments on the house.
Furthermore, Anders and Helena have a 27-year-old son together Preston (played by Thomas Mann) who is still recovering from his addiction with drugs. An ESL teacher, Preston ends up stealing from one of his students, putting him in a deeper hole than the one he was in. Now it’s up to Anders and Preston to make decisions that can hopefully help them become better people.
Anders, however, begins to fall down the wrong path. He starts to get in trouble with a younger crowd, attending strip clubs and hanging out with his good friend’s son Charlie (Charlie Tahan) who also has a drug addiction. The two end up becoming really good friends. However, Anders becomes a harmful influence on Charlie, which leads to consequences in the future.
“The Land of Steady Habits” tells the story of the different hardships father and son face. The film challenges the audience to question who is going to do better first.
Usually in American cinema, fathers primarily play roles their children can aspire to. But in this film, the roles are completely reversed.
Here you have both father and son, who can’t seem to get right due to their poor decisions in life. Surprisingly, Preston starts to see that life is short and drugs will only make the hole deeper for him, yet Anders is very stubborn and believes that anything that he does can be thrown under the rug.