MOVIE REVIEW: Reece Witherspoon stars in captivating, emotive true story

WILD - 2014 FILM STILL - Reese Witherspoon as "Cheryl Strayed" - Photo Credit: Anne Marie/Fox    � 2014 Twentieth Century Fox ANL-150120-141712001
WILD - 2014 FILM STILL - Reese Witherspoon as "Cheryl Strayed" - Photo Credit: Anne Marie/Fox � 2014 Twentieth Century Fox ANL-150120-141712001

FILM REVIEW: WILD (15) SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: REESE WITHERSPOON, LAURA DERN, THOMAS SADOWSKI, KEENE McRAE, MICHIEL HUISMAN & KEVIN RANKIN

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 55 MINS

DIRECTOR: JEAN-MARC VALLEE

This powerfully emotive true story drama from the director of The Dallas Buyers Club – and written by acclaimed British scribe Nick Hornby (About a Boy) – is another award-time gem that is worthy of your consideration.

Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) puts in an Academy award-nominated performance as Cheryl Strayed – with the movie adapted from her memoirs – a woman on the brink of self-destruction who goes on a 1,100 mile solo hike to ‘find herself’ after the break-up of her marriage (due to her own infidelities) and death of her mother (the also Oscar-nominated Laura ‘Jurassic Park’ Dern).

During her pain-staking trek along America’s Pacific Crest Trail (her journey starts insouthern California and takes her to the Canadian border) – despite being completely untrained for the journey at hand – sheer determination helps strengthen and heal her as she overcomes several life-changing obstacles.

The flashbacks of her life leave a lot of ambiguity for movie-goers as some aspects of the story are never truly resolved or fleshed-out – but that almost adds to the endearingly visceral emotions that Witherspoon’s interesting lead character exudes.

Throw in some truly stunning scenery across these varying American landscapes and you’ve got a film that can take you to another place for a couple of hours – but some admittedly could get bored by the slow methodical pacing.

Fortunately this road to redemption isn’t as fierce as the title suggests – but is a captivating mini-odyssey that is worth pursuing to reach the destination.

By Gavin Miller – Rating: 4/5