Here’s a winner – Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon. She is very deserving of an Oscar nomination. I was a huge fan of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild. The movie is worthy of the book thanks to the Nick Hornsby screenplay and Reese’s acting. Cheryl is a mess – her beloved mother (played in flashback by a radiant Laura Dern) died, she cheated numerous times on her husband, and is now divorced. Alcohol, drugs – she has sunk to the depths. Now what?
On a bit of a whim, she decides she’s going to walk the Pacific trail – from the far south desert near Mexico to Oregon. Just in Day 1, mile 5 her feet hurt, she’s almost dehydrated, and her boots are too small. Each day proves a challenge, but she perseveres. As she runs across a fox or a deer, she feels the spirit of her mother urging her on. Her journal features “I quit” almost every day, but she trudges on. Chance encounters with other hikers buoy her spirits. She learns about herself, her ability to survive, and appreciates nature.
The movie is glorious, the scenery spectacular, and the journey of Cheryl Strayed digs deep into the human soul. Reese Witherspoon has always been a smart, spunky actress and this role is perfect for her. She grows in confidence, and you root for her to turn the corner, to know that she’s going to be okay at the end of the trail and beyond. Put on your hiking boots and get to the big screen. Life can be Wild.