Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie Review: Wild

*****Five Stars

Walking and/or running to journey not out but within -- a theme of the year, especially with the 3L Publishing award-winner In the Footsteps of Greatness by Josh Mathe doing so well.

Wild is more inward journey than outward exploration, but it is through the challenge of the physical world that Cheryl Strayed heals her inner wounds. After her mother dies and her marriage falls apart because of her infidelity and drug abuse, Strayed finds herself in need of change. After an unexpected pregnancy she cries out and asks herself, "How did I become this shitty person?" At that point she finds a book on the Pacific Crest Trail (1,000 miles from Mexico to Canada) and with no training or experience determines to walk to a new future. As her outward hike unfolds, the viewer watches her inward story and how she got to where she is on this trail. Her relationship with her mother who passed away is very inspiring. Her mother taught her important lessons at that the time she overlooked but now during crisis comes to appreciate and value.

So many reviewers always give Hollywood actresses props for their "bravery" in showing us their real looks without makeup. I'm not going to say that about Witherspoon, because I find it ridiculous. You don't have to wear makeup to be beautiful. Reese, though, does bare it all in a raw performance where she wears the character's pain all over her face. Tears welled up so many times during this movie I couldn't even count. It hit a nerve with me, and I felt inspired by Cheryl Strayed's humanity and self-awareness that she had to get off the path of self-destruction -- a path that was taking her nowhere but into more misery. So she changed directions -- literally.

This movie isn't all sugar-coated sweetness. It's a movie about getting your life back on track literally and figuratively. I highly recommend it.

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