Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tales: A Review of the Movie WILD

Wild with Reese Witherspoon
I love watching movies but I don't always love going to the theater. However, Wild was too tempting to wait until it was released on Blu-ray. I went to see Wild at the theater and am so glad I did. Wild is a gritty, dramatic, beautiful, and stark telling of a women's journey to healing.  I find myself becoming excited that the Blu-ray/DVD release is coming soon.

The movie Wild

The movie was based on the memoir written by Cheryl Strayed.  I had not read the book and went in with no real expectations. I half expected a "how-to" do a thru-hike from a woman's perspective. As someone who has been interested thru-hike tales, I was drawn to this movie. As it turns out, it was closer to a how-not-to thru hike. 

Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed.  I forgot that I was watching an actress on the screen as I watched a woman begin a long hike with little preparation. I cringed over and over as I expected this to become a story of physical survival on the trail; battling heat, snow, and rough terrain.  Instead, the story unfolded as a tale of emotional survival and of finding a purpose in life.  

The gritty flashbacks of sex, drugs, and traumatic events were uncomfortable at times, but I never felt they were gratuitous nude scenes. (After all, sex sells and I feel that nudity is usually just thrown in for good measure.) The scenes in Wild were glimpses into a hard life that is made more difficult by bad choices. It seemed to me that this woman jumped into the hike in a similar way as she jumped into some life decisions; not fully prepared.  However, while on the trail she seems to begin to find that she can survive and can do so peacefully and happily.

Laura Dern plays Bobbi, Cheryl's mother.  I loved her character and could relate to her struggle to balance being a good mom while living in uneasy circumstances while on her own journey in life. And her too soon journey through dying. Again, I forgot that I was watching an actress and felt immersed in her life.

The Book - Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

I occasionally see a movie that intrigues me so much that I go back and look for the book. I plan to do that in this case. I want more details about Cheryl Strayed's life and journey.

It seems that everyone has heard of the Cheryl Strayed story. After all, the book has nearly 9,000 reviews on Amazon and has been an Oprah book club choice. Wild is an award-winning book and is not Ms. Strayed's first published work.  I'm not sure why I was so unaware of this story. But I am aware now and I'm doing my best to make sure anyone else who has been left out is aware also.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild is a gritty portrayal of grief and what women sometimes do to themselves. And how many women react to life circumstances.   Some of the scenes weren't comfortable but they were pertinent to the story.  Life is not always pretty and neither is this story. But it has beautiful scenes along the way and an uplifting ending.

The movie will be released on blu-ray/DVD on March 31, 2015.  I can't wait to get a copy and watch it. I am sure this will be one of those movies in my collection that I watch over and over.


  1. I have a feeling this is one of those instances where the book is better than the movie, and more accurate. However, WILD is a movie I, too, would like to see.

  2. I always love a movie that is so realistic that I forget I am watching a dramatization. It always helps when the main character is an actress or actor that I already like, which is the case with Reese Witherspoon. This is an excellent review!

  3. I saw Wild too and was very impressed with the acting; it did seem very realistic. It was an amazing story.

  4. I rarely see movies, But I might get hold of the book. You gave an excellent review that lets me know what to expect should I decide to read it.

  5. I already wanted to see it, so thanks for the reminder. It's out on dvd now.

  6. I haven't seen anything about this movie yet, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. I will have to keep an eye out for it!

  7. I have this movie on my watch list...a friend said that both the book and the movie were very good, the movie partly because you could SEE where Reese was travelling.