WILD (2014) – My rating: 8/10

WildIt took a lot of focus to get into Wild, as I found it pretty boring at first.  Reese Witherspoon is playing Cheryl Strayed a young wife, sister, daughter and substance abuser who is trying to get hold of her life by hiking, on her own volition, through the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  Wild is based on the memoirs of Cheryl Strayed who’s life spiraled out of control when her mother died of Cancer and her marriage failed, causing Cheryl to lose all hope.  The hike starts from the Mexican border through the Mojave Desert to the Canadian border, which she later changed to Oregon’s Bridge of the Gods.  We see Cheryl wearing a monstrous nap sack on her back, heavier than Reese herself.  The hike will take 3 months and cover more than 1,000 miles.  There’s a lot of flash backs depicting Cheryl’s life with her family, including her mother, who was a teacher named Bobbi, played by Laura Dern.  Day 1 of her journey, in an apprehensive state of mind, Cheryl is wondering what she’s done by starting this endeavor.  She reminds herself that she can quit anytime.  After setting up in the wilderness, tent and all, she writes in her journal, reads a book and reflects on her past, showing us where she came from.  Things really become challenging when night falls, as the only light comes from her small flash light.  As if things are not bad enough, she drops a boot down a rocky path, then throws the other boot down the same path while screaming at the top of her lungs.  Her toe nails keep falling off and she’s in plenty of pain because her boots are too small. She meets up with other PCT hikers who offer help from time to time.    Cheryl’s journey includes hitchhiking, personal hygiene issues and reflection on her failed 7 year marriage to Paul played by Thomas Sadoski.  Cheryl also has a brother named Leaf played by Keene McRae who is an intricate part of her life.  Wild is 1 hour and 55 minutes of pure Reese Witherspoon at her very best, to date.  In the end, producer, Jean-Marc Vallée wraps it all up while revealing Bobbi’s horse having to be put down and the meeting of a child with his grandmother that brought me to tears.  Very enlightening film — kudos to Reese Witherspoon for a job well done!

[Wild is nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress]

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