Sunday, January 4, 2015


A very long walk from despair to redemption...

Wild is based on the memoir of the same name by author Cheryl Strayed. Nick Hornby's screen adaptation treats us to a gritty story framed by memories of poverty, joy, and lost loved ones and regret over marital infidelity, aimless sex, and drug abuse. On a whim Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) chooses to flee an harsh urban wilderness, in which she is all but hopelessly lost, to through hike the Pacific Coast Trail. Her preparations were apparently limited to buying one of everything at REI, creating a backpack other hikers named "The Monster." Hiking solo, Witherspoon's Strayed racks up the footsteps, the miles, and the days as she learns to care for herself in the wild and comes to terms with her grief and other demons. The cinematography by Yves BĂ©langer is wonderful and my hat is off a Sound Department that captured all the grunts, groans, rattles, and sloshes of backpacking, and especially the pitter pop of rain on the hood of one's parka.  A special treat was Laura Dern's supporting role as Strayed's indomitable mother.  Wild, the movie, doesn't make me want to hike the PCT, but it does make me want to read Wild, the memoir.