Run time: 115mins
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern
Synopsis: The true-life story of Cheryl Strayed, who in her mid-twenties decided to walk the 1,100 mile Pacific Crest trail alone, in an effort to confront her personal demons.
This chronicle of one woman’s solo hike the length of America to find herself – from Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) with a script from Nick Hornby – is more or less a one- woman film with a strong performance from Reese Witherspoon who has been Oscar nominated. Adapted from the best-selling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail from Cheryl Strayed (she changed her name as a kind of metaphor) who was actively involved in producing, co-scripting and getting Witherspoon on-board – the film has stunning cinematography from Yves Bélanger.
It is a touching and inspiring story of a woman who, with no experience, rashly embarks on her solo hike of over a thousand miles as a way of healing her grief over her mother’s death and her broken marriage. This journey against all odds – with poor footwear, overloaded rucksack, inadequate cooking utensils, natural and human hazards – enables her to lighten her metaphorical and actual loads and ultimately to heal herself.
Despite Stray’s flaws, Witherspoon manages to make her a likeable person whom we root for all the way. She is supported by strong cameos from Laura Dern in flashback as her beloved mother and Michiel Huisman as a fellow traveller Jonathan. The real Cheryl Strayed makes a brief appearance and her daughter plays the young Cheryl.
Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox