Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
A woman with a tragic past decides to start her new life by hiking for one thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.
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★★★★½ review by brat pitt on Letterboxd
according to imdb trivia, there's a scene where reese witherspoon reads gone girl, so i google image searched "wild gone girl" to try to find a screencap so i could fact-check. did not realize that you could re-arrange those words to spell "girl(s) gone wild" until it was too late
★★★★ review by Luke Kane on Letterboxd
Reece Witherspoon wears no makeup in Wild, a new film based on the autobiographical novel by Cheryl Strayed and adapted by novelist Nick Hornby. Her performance is pointedly unglamorous, in fact, yet she's never looked more beautiful.
In the film she's decided to hike a thousand miles across the Pacific Crest Trail for reasons which aren't clear at first. We sense that this pilgrimage is not to fulfil some daredevil sense of adventure, but that it's more an act of desperation.
As she progresses through the unforgiving arid terrain, she reflects upon the events that led to this self-imposed exile. At first they're brief and discordant images; her mother dancing loosely in the kitchen, a hand unzipping her dress, a man's frustrated glare over the steering wheel, but slowly these snatches take shape and speak of a traumatic past that influenced her to make catastrophic decisions. She's become somebody she's not. Like most traveling movies, this is not about escaping but about returning.
Laura Dern and Reece Witherspoon have both been Oscar-nominated for their performances. Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyer's Club) uses the panoramic landscape of his story to create a stirring and personal film that is effortlessly touching. It's a meditative experience that won't appeal to the impatient viewer. It's also beautifully written and wonderfully sincere. Easily Witherspoon's finest achievement, everything about Wild seems to be staring back at us with a warm, retiring expression.
★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
"But you know, problems don't stay problems.
They turn into something else."
No time to write an extensive review tonight:/ but...
Reasons this is a very good movie:
- It's a great example of a micro-level character study
- Especially one dealing with ideas of decision making and grief
- The "hobo life" scene (lol)
- It quotes Flannery O'Connor
- The strength of the parent-child relationship aspect
- Fantastic editing
- Soundtrack includes Box of Rain & Ripple by the Grateful Dead
- And last, but not least, Witherspoon's performance
"AND I SAY, HEEY YEEAAH YEEEAAAH,
HEEY YEEAAH YEEEAAAH
I SAID HEEEY, WHAT'S GOINN ONNN!?"
★★★★ review by Lise on Letterboxd
tiff 2014 film #16
My guess is that Wild will never get the audience it deserves. Why? Because we've already seen Into the Wild and 127 hours and we might be tired of films about young folk who have the luxury of going on high risk adventures and end up paying the price. It is why I didn't pick Wild as a film I wanted to see at TIFF. I can't say for sure what changed my mind*, but I'm glad I did, because Wild is a much better film than those other two as far as I am concerned. Much better.
Yes, it involves a long hike. But the way Jean-Marc Vallée tells Cheryl Strayed's story is original and never boring. Of course he has to use narration and flashbacks to introduce certain elements of her story, but the methods never become tedious. They are always used succinctly and they are always on point. It is actually quite amazing how Vallée was able to interweave these narrative tools so expertly.
There is no real way I can find to talk about this film without making it sound like something that it is not.
Yes Chery Strayed is hiking to redeem herself, but that sounds so cliché and the film is anything but.
Yes she is looking to 'find herself' but goodness that sounds so psycho-babbly that I'm rolling eyes just writing it, and I saw and loved the film!
I could go on but here's the deal: the film is much more than any of its parts.
It works beautifully.
It is highly engaging, always entertaining and never Oprah-ish in the least.
Definitely worth seeing. And Witherspoon is great in it.
*Ah yes, it was Len's passion for Café de Flore (another Jean-Marc Vallée film) that changed my mind, so thanks Len!
★★★★½ review by Francisco Aram on Letterboxd
*walks a block home from the bus stop* i'm reese witherspoon in wild!
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