Wild (2014)

Directed By – Jean-Marc Vallée

Screenplay By – Nick Hornby & Cheryl Strayed

Cinematography By – Yves Bélanger

Starring Reese Witherspoon

115 min.

Wild is a long depressing journey into Reese Witherspoon’s face. This movie is about how many problems one women can handle both emotionally and physically, and I got to say that after about seven I had had enough. Can nothing go right for this lady? Geez.

Okay, so the movie is about dealing with loss and how one woman, Cheryl Strayed, hiked the Pacific Crest Trail as her grieving process after her mother’s death and a series of bad personal decisions. Now, I can get behind this if this is basically a beautifully shot National Geographic movie with Reese Witherspoon somewhere on frame, walking up hills and climbing mountains, but instead of dwelling on the beauty that Cheryl is in, Vallée decides to venture into Reese Witherspoon’s (very beautiful) face. A good 50%, if not more, of this movie are close-ups of Reese, like I get it, she’s pretty.

Also a lot of the movie has do to with her weird interactions with men on her trail and how they find her so beautiful. So tons of close-ups and every encounter is about her being hot, I think it get the point, Reese Witherspoon is a babe. But we never really move on from that point and see her as a strong individual, except at the very end for a single moment.

Laura Dern plays Cheryl’s mother in the numerous flashbacks we get and Dern is by far the most captivating part of the movie. She’s the only character who smiles and laughs. Dern radiates everything that Wild lacks so much of that you can’t help but smile with Dern while she’s on screen.

Let’s recap, Wild is depressing and gives Cherly only a moment to dwell on her one accomplishment. Reese Witherspoon is a babe. There’s not nearly enough wide shots of the nature the protagonist is hiking through, probably because she’s crying about her past too much to notice the beauty herself. And Laura Dern is the single radiant spot in a dark tale of grief.

Wild isn’t exactly a bad movie but it will leave you feeling empty inside.

God Bless America


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