Wild is a stunningly shot, exceptionally written film from Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée, with a great leading performance from Reese Witherspoon as a woman trying to find herself by any means necessary.
After an emotional tragedy, Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon) sets off on a relentlessly self destructive path that nearly kills her. In order to get her life back on track, she decides to embark on a trek alone across the Pacific Coast Trail to flush out her personal demons and figure out the person that she was meant to be.
Wild isn’t flashy. It’s a strong emotional narrative that will resonate once people start talking about Oscar gold because it’s the kind of journey we all wish we could take. Vallée rames this lone subject in the vast, unforgiving wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Nick Hornby adapts the book of the same name for the big screen, and while it can get a bit wordy and more dialogue driven than the story needs to be, it still maintains a sense of earnestness and freshness in great balance.
Witherspoon never backs away from the darker aspects of her character’s desperation to change, and it’s the best performance of her career.
While Wild might not be the best of Vallée’s career, it’s easily the one that will garner the most attention and prove what we’ve known up here for a while now: that last year’s Dallas Buyers Club was anything but a fluke. (Dave Voigt)
Tuesday, September 9th, 11:30am, VISA Screening Room (Elgin)
Friday, September 12th, 3:00pm, Princess of Wales