Big Screen: Wild
I saw the movie Wild last night with my friend Molly (also a book club member) and I loved it. We're both movie-criers (well, I'm a crier in general, but I won't speak for Molly. Ha!), and left the movie with tear stained faces and sniffling a little. It was a great adaptation of the book.
Here's my review from back when I read it this spring.
I absolutely loved this movie. I think it's often hard to do justice to a great book, and I was worried that being solo on the PCT with Cheryl would be akin to Tom Hanks in that terrible Castaway movie, but it wasn't. There were tons of flashbacks as she hiked that kept the plot structure similar to the book in a good way--it wasn't forced. There were some subtle moments that I would have missed if I didn't know to look for them from the book, (Like when Leif and Cheryl are in bed and list all of the boyfriends in their moms life, that was a bigger part of the book that Molly reminded me of when we left the theater, there were a couple other moments like that, too), but overall, I thought this was really a really strong representation of Cheryl's life.
Reese Witherspoon, preppy, southern, teensy, perfect, was utterly believable as Cheryl. She had her grittiness, her semi entitlement, her youth and ability to just forget how impossible it was for her to attempt this trip.
Laura Dern as Cheryl's mom was amazing. Her ability to smile through a slight but make sure you see that pain in her face, she was inspiring. I totally bought her in the role. The relationship she and Reese developed as mother-daughter was beautiful and so accurate. The love, the resentment, the forgiveness, the awkwardness, it all felt really real.
Thomas Sadoski (Don from the Newsroom) as Paul was perfect. I rooted for him the same way I did in the book. He was relatable when Cheryl was a little off the deep end, he was a rock that she clung to and that she pushed away.
The people Cheryl meets on the trail all added to the story and were less muddled than when I read the book, which was a nice upgrade.
Overall, this movie was really compelling, whether or not you've read the book. And if you have, don't worry, it doesn't disappoint.
I'm so glad to see this picking up award nominations. Between Reese and Felicity Jones from The Theory of Everything I'm not sure who I'd choose. Both play really strong, resilient women to a T.
Here's the trailer: