Saturday, 24 January 2015
Week 4: Wild
Writers: Nick Hornby & Cheryl Strayed
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Seen: Friday 23rd January
Location: Eye Cinema
I was surprised to see the limited screenings for Wild, in fact I was quite baffled by it? Only one screening per day from both the Eye and the IMC in a very early 6:30 -7.00pm time slot. As well as the early time slot it was shown in the smallest screen in the Eye…..is this because it didn’t gain the predicted Oscar nomination for best picture…I really couldn’t figure out the reason because this film was very good. Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed who goes on a pilgrimage by taking on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 after the early death of her mother (Laura Dern) and a slump into drug abuse and various bouts of cheating on her husband.
It’s a journey to regain her sense of self and the hardships along the way are mirrored by flashbacks of her misdemeanours.I particularly liked the way some of the flashbacks were just the merest hint of a song or a glance. The film is full of the soundtrack of her life and quotes from Walt Whitman, Robert Frost & Joni Mitchell.
The relationship and subsequent death of her mother is pinnacle in this film,they do not have the perfect relationship and in many of the flashbacks Cheryl is very critical of her mother. This imperfection though is key to what makes this film so relatable, who has the perfect relationship? Cheryl isn’t perfect herself in fact she is a very flawed character and the film doesn’t go down the easy route of trying to sugar coat what Cheryl’s life had become to make us feel sorry for her. We see Cheryl’s mistakes and hear all the criticism she dishes out to her mother and even though that might not be particularly palatable the audience can certainly identify with her. By then end of the film we feel that Cheryl is finally free of the burden of guilt.A beautifully shot film (which really deserves to be seen in the cinema) with a great soundtrack and some compelling performances from Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon.