Wild (2014)

Reese Witherspoon in Wild (2014)In the mid 90s, Cheryl Strayed hiked over a thousand miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. Her book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, published in 2012, described both the challenges of her external journey and the traumas that drove her to the trek: her mother’s death, her divorce, her drug use. Her internal journey from junkie to self-assured woman is perfectly suited for the brand of positivity that powers “inspirational” quotations. It’s the kind of story that gets selected for Oprah’s Book Club. It’s the kind of story that gets turned into a film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Director Jean-Marc Vallée (of Dallas Buyers Club) and screenwriter Nick Hornby (of About a Boy) are tasked with adapting her memoirs into a feature-length film: Wild. Their remit is to take Strayed’s story, capture its personal resonance and avoid its schmaltzy tendencies. By and large, they succeed. The approach is unadorned, naturalistic, personal. Cheryl’s (Witherspoon’s) trials on the trail are interspersed with intermittent flashbacks, shaping two narratives – the present and the past – simultaneously.

Continue reading at The Essential.

6 thoughts on “Wild (2014)

    • Yeah; it’s a bit of clichéd “Oscar performance” in many respects, but she’s really good so I don’t mind so much.

    • I just read your review! It’s certainly better than I expected, even I didn’t like it quite as much as you did. 🙂

  1. Great movie. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the flashbacks aside from Dern’s performance, but the way they were incorporated definitely did reflect how our memories tend to work in real life. It’s a simple movie with, thankfully, nothing grand to say about becoming one with nature or whatever, and Witherspoon is great in it. Nice review!

    • I gather Vallee’s incorporation of flashbacks is kinda a trademark at this stage, but I’ve only seen Dallas Buyers Club so that may be hearsay. I do think it’s a simple movie, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Cheers 🙂

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