Favorite

WILD

***1/2

DIRECTED BY Jean-Marc Vallee

STARS Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern

Ever since its August debut at the Telluride Film Festival – and through its tireless relay race over the course of two dozen more fests – Wild has been positioned first and foremost as a showcase for star Reese Witherspoon, creating the impression that the rest of the movie is no more worthy of awards recognition than a bottom-feeding Adam Sandler comedy.

Yet Wild is far more than just Oscar bait for an A-list star – based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (with no less than Nick Hornby handling the adaptation), it’s a galvanizing human-interest story of the highest order, centering on a woman who immediately emerges as one of the cinematic year’s most complex individuals.

Witherspoon is superb as Cheryl, who undergoes a strenuous 1,100-mile hike in an attempt to find herself after suffering through a series of personal crises.

An adulteress and heroin addict, Cheryl’s grown-up existence has been most informed by the cancer-related death of her mother Bobbi (Laura Dern), a single mom who had been attempting to improve her own lot in life when the disease hit hard.

Absolutely devastated by her loss, Cheryl flounders until she stumbles upon the idea of embarking on this hike, an arduous odyssey that poses many risks but also allows time for plenty of soul-searching.

Director Jean-Marc Vallee, coming off last year’s excellent Dallas Buyers Club, has fashioned an invigorating picture which, through its uncanny use of both flashbacks and songs, successfully provides a stream-of-consciousness flow that beautifully suits the piece’s themes of reflection and introspection.

As for Witherspoon, she’s having a banner year, producing Gone Girl, lending her marquee value to the sleeper pick The Good Lie (out on DVD Dec. 23) and appearing as part of the impressive ensemble in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming Inherent Vice.

Wild, however, represents the crown jewel of her 2014 accomplishments – it’s a dizzying high-wire act, and she’s performing without a net.

Trailer


Now Playing

Wild is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 05.24.2018

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Review: Deadpool 2
  • Review: Deadpool 2

    If it doesn’t quite reach the plateau of its predecessor, that says less about the freshness of the film’s irreverent approach and more about the comparative stagnation in the character’s development.
    • May 19, 2018
  • Review: Life of The Party
  • Review: Life of The Party

    Much of the picture’s appeal rests with the character essayed by McCarthy. Like Rodney Dangerfield’s Thornton Melon in the 80s comedy classic Back to School, McCarthy’s Deanna is immensely likable, meaning viewers have her back as she rebounds from a deserting spouse by heading back to college
    • May 13, 2018
  • Review: Avengers: Infinity War
  • Review: Avengers: Infinity War

    It’s the darkest, the grimmest, and the most downbeat of all Marvel movies, with countless websites anticipating its solemnity by laying odds on which characters would meet their maker.
    • Apr 28, 2018
  • More »

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2018, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation