Friday, August 7, 2015

WILD (2014)



Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallee 
Written By: Nick Hornby 
Based on the memoir "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" By: Cheryl Strayed Cinematography By: Yves Belanger 
Editor: John Mac McMurphy (Jean-Marc Vallee) & Martin Pensa 


Cast: Resse Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, W. Earl Brown, Gaby Hoffman, Kevin Rankin, Brian Van Holt, Cliff De Young


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, strengthen, and ultimately heals her.

When Cheryl Strayed walked the trail, she was 26 years old. When this movie was released, Reese Witherspoon was 38 years old.

Cheryl Strayed about the meaning of her journey (from her book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail): "The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer-and yet also, like most things, so very simple-was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go".

At times the film takes you off guard with different characters and cruelty. Though always keeps you invested that things could takes different direction. Now while presenting a story of roughing it and going through a challenge. It's not a solitary tale of a person trying to challenge nature. We are informed of her history along the way as thoughts and flashbacks of what keep her here. While it is good for the audience to get more of an understanding and non-linear storytelling at times.

I wish the film offered up more of a challenge for the viewer to go with the character suffer just a bit as she does.

Though none of that really affects the film. It surprises a few times but plays as you expect it to.

You root for the character as you get to know her challenges and what, when she is confronting them and proud as she continues her trek and respect Reese Witherspoon and how she tackles the role, the bravery she manages to showcase while playing it off simply.

She doesn't set the screen ablaze nor does the film scorch the earth emotionally, but it does move you to a certain degree.

The film never bores as one might think when hearing the story.

The film like the book is all about life lessons and revelations. It also seems to be about strength of spirit as well as connections and how they can affect us. A self-help memoir that we have been before but it makes a good addition to the genre of film.

When in one scene the music montage feels a bit chest but Also I can't complain as at times sometime we all use music as a kind of coping mechanism and medicine to help us deal with whatever problems.

With things emotionally and can be a soundtrack to memories and thoughts even if it wasn't playing when it originally happened. The film feels simple at times, but really showcases director Jean-Marc Valle experimenting with certain storytelling aspects that he hasn't used in trying to keep things then needed, but I admire as it truly works and feels more planned and plan. Yet paints a vivid picture. The director would not let Witherspoon read the instruction manual to the tent, or the stove. All of the frustration showed on screen was genuine. He covered all of the mirrors so Reese could not see herself during the shoot.

Lisa Cholodenko was previously set to direct but dropped out.

Throughout the film there are uplifting moments that don't feel as hard won, as they should.

This is a film I liked, but was hard for me to identify with any on e character. Not that it's a bad thing, but helped keep the film at a certain distance though it seems to want to be personal.

Watching a woman's story, dealing with grief how it started affected her and dealing and exercising her demons.

The sexual scenes whole brief are shocking and introduces us to the characters and Ms. Witherspoon's nakedness physically and emotionally in the role.

There are multiple news reports saying this was Reese Witherspoon's first film performing nude scenes; however, she appeared topless in TWILIGHT

She goes for a warts and all portrayal that pushes her not necessarily to the limits it past what we have seen from her.

As in loneliness and serenity. She faces her demons and have nothing to keep you company, but your own thoughts.

Plus as a baby faced young blonde caucasian girl. She is already going to get the audiences sympathies. Whatever she is on for the audience will get worked up until she is safe or taken care of, we can't stand to see her in pain, peril or trouble.

Not a natural victim, but we expect her to be saved somehow everything, but one we lost commonly see a different approach.

Laura Dern, who plays Witherspoon's mother in the film, is only nine years older in real life.

The film seems intent on keeping us reminded that it takes place in the 90's as we keep seeing pop culture Symbols and songs from that era.

Uplifting and future told not shown. I believe you will get more from the book other then the film. Though the film is perfectly good.

What made the film and maybe the tale not connect with me is for that all the ways the film tries to show strength of character. It also presents us with the fact that along the way she got a lot of help and special treatment even though she did finish and survive. It takes away a little from the message. Though does show that there are some genuine good hearted people. Even though some were only helping because of her looks admittedly.

The young Cheryl is portrayed by the actual Cheryl Strayed's daughter.

The real Cheryl Strayed makes a cameo in the film as the woman who drops off the main character at the beginning of the film and wishes her good luck.

Reese Witherspoon beat out Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johannson and Emma Watson for the role.

She dropped out of Big Eyes to do this movie.

This was originally planned as the next film after Reese Witherspoon completes Gone Girl but it was fast-tracked when Witherspoon decided just to produce that film, having dropped the intention of playing its lead role of Amy.

There is a scene where Cheryl is reading Gone Girl. This is because Reese Witherspoon is one of the producers in the movie Gone Girl.

Reese Witherspoon famously said that this film was the most difficult and intense in her career, considering the mood and the sex sequences she had to do. She even said famously that this film was the most difficult and intense in her career, considering the mood and the sex sequences she had to do.

Even when it gets heavy it has a certain lightness . Even adding the suspected creepy guys who might be rapists following her. Though I found the ranger hitting on her to be more creepy. His was more hidden. Where as the redneck hunters seem straight out of central casting.

Nick Hornby seems to have created a new niche for himself other than a novelist he tends to be the go to screenwriter for adaptations for female centered films.

While it seems centered in the 90's the soundtrack keeps playing Katy Perry songs as the main characters anthem in the film.


Grade: B

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