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With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. WILD powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.
Top Customer Reviews
Based on Strayed’s 2012 memoir, which I greatly enjoyed, Wild puts us in the shoes of Strayed in her self-healing. We feel her pain, see her experiences, and we are up close and personal with her; everything she feels, we feel. With a great use of flashbacks to flesh out Cheryl’s story, Wild strikes a delicate balance of biographical storytelling. The more accessible scenes of Cheryl’s physically exhausting hike are paralleled with flashbacks of her past. We learn of her mother’s death, her nasty divorce, and her reckless sex and drug abuse that leads her to make the decision to hike over 1,000 miles. If you’re not a fan of flashbacks, Wild probably won’t change your mind, but give it a chance because they’re necessary to get the full picture.
Cheryl’s a likable character, to be sure, and Wild reminds us this fact several times along the trail. Her journey is funny, emotional, and altogether enjoyable. Any backpackers will relate with her struggles with her “monster” backpack, and her side journeys to towns and stranger’s homes gives us scenery changes that show Cheryl’s true colors.
Wild really excels at creating an emotional bond between the viewer and Cheryl herself. This wouldn’t be possible without Reese Witherspoon’s outstanding performance, her best by a mile.Read more ›
The film opens with a hilarious scene of neophyte hiker Cheryl trying to attach her over-stuffed backpack to her shoulders. The backpack is literally as big and heavy as the woman. The film manages to go back and forth between events on the trail and those that led up to the woman attempting such a daunting test. That is, to walk a 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail to Oregon. During the 3 month journey we learn how earlier events in her life led to a failed marriage, drug addiction and random sex. Seeing a brochure in a store, Cheryl decides to strike out on her own on the hike to Oregon where she has decided to settle. Along the way, she meets strangers, some friendly, some not. The journey is painful, both physically and emotionally, for both Cheryl, and I suspect Ms. Witherspoon.
There is a strong supporting performance by Laura Dern as Cheryl's mother Bobbi, but Witherspoon carries the weight, literally and figuratively in this award-worthy film. I can think of no stronger performance this year. The film is beautifully shot, using locations in Oregon and Washington. Cinematographer, Yves Belanger mixes the ruggedness of the wilderness with its natural beauty. Witherspoon and her business partner Bruna Papandrea were also heavily involved in this year's "Gone Girl." They are off to a terrific start. I love this film.
But this movie is so much more than that. Based on Cheryl Strayed’s real life experience, this movie is full of beautifully shot scenes throughout the Pacific Northwest – absolutely gorgeous. This is an epic hike of over 1,000 miles, but more than that, it is a soulful journey of discovery, healing and the inherent transformation of this woman as she discovers who she is. The many flashbacks throughout introduce us to her life - her ex, her mother, etc., and give us the very clear and understandable "why" of the story.
Reese Witherspoon is amazing as the heroine in this, and it is easy to forget she is acting. While she is still not my favorite actor, she has definitely jumped up the list, and I am no longer agnostic – she has some great talent. There are a few cringe-worthy points in the movie, as well as some comically appropriate points, which all flow together naturally and never give the impression of staged or forced.
I loved this movie, and I think almost everyone can identify and relate to this journey, even if only recognizing the desire to do something similar at some point.
Hint: This book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, was an Oprah selection, and is also available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Wild/dp/B007MIWUG0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421535112&sr=8-1&keywords=wild+from+lost+to+found+on+the+pacific+crest+trail. It is well worth reading, or listening to the audible version. I have just started it myself after watching this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow moving. Not much of a storyline. Good message at the end, but hard keeping my attention.Published 1 day ago by ddeff1986
Never really takes off.
You keep expecting it to go somewhere interesting and it never does.
The movie has a following amongst the lost and damaged. Read more
Glad I read the book first, helped me follow the movie. Glad I saw it, but it could have been a little bit more dramatic. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Linda Hamly
Being primarily a watcher of shoot-'em-ups, action movies, superhero flicks, etc., this movie was WAY outside my normal comfort zone. Read morePublished 5 days ago by technotrope