The Land of Steady Habits

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The Land of Steady Habits
The Land of Steady Habits.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Nicole Holofcener
Produced by
  • Anthony Bregman
  • Stefanie Azpiazu
Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener
Based on The Land of Steady Habits
by Ted Thompson
Music by Marcelo Zarvos
Cinematography Alar Kivilo
Edited by Robert Frazen
Distributed by Netflix
Release date
  • September 12, 2018 (2018-09-12) (TIFF)
  • September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English

The Land of Steady Habits is a 2018 American film written and directed by Nicole Holofcener based on the novel of the same name by Ted Thompson. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2018 and was released on September 14, 2018, by Netflix.


Anders Hill has recently divorced his wife Helene and quit his job in finance for an early retirement, and is having a difficult time coping. Anders’ adult-son Preston is a recovering addict who still lives with Helene in the family home that Anders has left.

Anders remains enamoured of his ex-wife, despite his string of one night stands since their divorce. He shows up at the annual Christmas party she co-hosts with Sophie Ashford, a neighbor and friend of Helene. Isolated at the party, he goes outside and joins Sophie and Mitchell's son Charlie and some of Charlie's friends. They urge Anders to smoke from a bong, and he is surprised to discover, afterward, that the marijuana is laced with PCP. Later at the party, Charlie overdoses and is taken to the hospital.

Sometime after, Anders, who is still the formal owner of the family home he has left to Helene, and, thusly, responsible for the mortgage, finds that he cannot afford to retire as well as pay off the house, and has fallen behind with the payments. He approaches a friend for a loan, however, the friend instead takes Anders to a strip club where he meets Barbara, a woman who is on a date. Anders and Barbara hit it off and end up sharing a cab home, and in his drunken stupor Anders gives his old address and breaks into his old home upsetting Helene and Preston.

Days later, Preston stops by Anders' condo to reveal he has a job delivering alcohol but is homeless, having been kicked out of the family home by Helene. However, Anders tells him he cannot stay the night and urges him to grow up. That night, Charlie visits Anders and tells him he has broken out of the hospital, as his parents want him to go to rehab and he needs to run away but wants Anders to look after his pet turtle. Charlie later dies of an overdose, his corpse discovered by Preston.

Charlie's death causes Preston to be welcomed back into the family home by Helene. On Christmas Eve, when the Hills and Ashfords traditionally celebrate dinner together, Preston finds his Dad and convinces him to stop by for dinner. Over the course of the dinner, Anders reveals that Charlie and himself had gotten high together a few times. This revelation leads to Sophie telling Anders that Helene had been cheating on him for two years. Mitchell then attacks Anders by smashing his cigar into Anders’ forehead.

A few months later, everyone has moved on. Rather than keep the house, Helene has moved out with her boyfriend. Preston has decided to return to grad school, getting his own apartment. Anders continues to date Barbara, is settling into retired life, and is looking after Charlie's turtle.



On August 20, 2014, it was reported that Nicole Holofcener would write and direct an adaptation of Ted Thompson's novel The Land of Steady Habits for Fox Searchlight.[2] In January 2017, Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco, and Thomas Mann were set to star in the film, which, it was revealed, was to be financed and distributed by Netflix.[3] In February 2017, Connie Britton joined the cast.[4] In March 2017, Elizabeth Marvel joined the cast.[5]

By March 17, 2017, The Land of Steady Habits had begun filming in Tarrytown.[6]


The Land of Steady Habits had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2018.[7] It was released exclusively to Netflix on September 14, 2018.[8]


  1. ^ "The Land of Steady Habits". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  2. ^ Chitwood, Adam (August 20, 2014). "Nicole Holofcener to Write and Direct THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS". Collider. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (January 19, 2017). "Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco & Thomas Mann Head To Nicole Holofcener's 'The Land Of Steady Habits' For Netflix, Likely Story". Deadline. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (February 24, 2017). "Connie Britton Lands First Post-'Nashville' Role in Netflix's 'Land of Steady Habits'". Variety. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (March 20, 2017). "'Homeland's' Elizabeth Marvel Joins Connie Britton in Nicole Holofcener's Netflix Film (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  6. ^ "Netflix filming in White Plains, Nyack and Tarrytown". March 17, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan (July 24, 2018). "Toronto: Timothee Chalamet Starrer 'Beautiful Boy,' Dan Fogelman's 'Life Itself' Among Festival Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  8. ^ Walsh, Savana. "11 Original Netflix Movies Out Fall 2018 That Will Make For A Perfect Autumn Marathon". Bustle. Retrieved August 10, 2018.

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