Coming off the success of Dallas Buyers Club, Jean-Marc Vallée strikes again with Wild. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Wild tells the true story of Cheryl Strayed who, after having a slew of horrible events happen to her, takes a 1,000+ mile hike.
Does that sound fascinating or what? Well, it really is. One of Wild’s many accomplishments is taking what sounds like a boring story and making it absurdly entertaining and relatable.
You couldn’t pay me to hike 10 feet, but that didn’t stop me from relating to Cheryl. Every bad thing possible happens to her. Literally. Any problem you may have can relate to something Cheryl is going through, and writer Nick Hornby does a terrific job of showcasing all of her problems without overdoing it.
Part of that credit also goes to Vallée’s incredible direction. A sizable chunk of the movie is told in flashbacks. This works wonders because, even though it’s a true story, Cheryl’s life is unbelievable. Telling the story in order would make for an exhausting first half and a much slower second half. Jumping between both and mixing up the order of Cheryl’s life constantly keeps the audience on their toes to see what could possibly happen to this poor girl next. Thus, a story about a 1,000+ mile hike is made entertaining.
This movie would’ve fell apart if Cheryl was played by a bad actress. Reese Witherspoon gives one of the best performances of her career and of the year. She is tremendous! She never overacts, which is a true testament considering what happens to her character, and she conveys Hornby’s wonderful dialogue with ease. This is easily one of the standout performances of the year and Reese Witherspoon deserves every award that comes her way.
Laura Dern also knocks it out of the park as Cheryl’s mom. Here’s another tough character to do justice, and here’s another one of 2014’s best performances. Laura Dern is flawless in her role. Her screen time is limited, but she aces everything that comes her way.
Not everything is perfect with Wild though. Or is it? I actually don’t know. The rest of the characters aren’t too memorable but do they need to be? Witherspoon and Dern do more than enough to carry the film. Was there a slow or unneeded moment in the movie? Not really. Hmm. Alright then. Here you go!
For a second opinion of this film you can also read through a review from Bryan right here.