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Friday, October 3, 2014

WILD


By D.E.Levine

Viewers are used to seeing Reese Witherspoon in cute and/or glamorous roles.   In Wild, the second film for her production company, Reese is anything but glamorous.

Based on the true story by Cheryl Strayad about her 2012 solo 1,100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, the film's cinematography is beautiful as a naturally rugged backdrop for an equally rugged interior self-discovery journey.

Strayed is brutally honest as she tells her story of how her mother Bobbi's (played by Laura Dern) death from lung cancer at age 45 sent her 22-year old daughter on a self-destructive journey into drugs and sex that ended her marriage.

As a novice hiker, with no experience and a huge, heavy backpack with sometimes the wrong equipment, Strayed was ill-prepared, but very determined for the journey.  Some thought her reckless, others thought her stupid, however, her determination and ability to adapt, caused her to successfully complete what she started and ultimately changed her entire life.

Witherspoon's portrayal combines vulnerability, grittiness, determination, and physical bravery.  As Strayed, Witherspoon is totally believable and authentic.  We're rooting for Strayed, but we doubt, strongly, that she'll succeed.  Her accomplishment is a journey on so many levels, and Witherspoon does an amazing job of portraying the real Strayed.