CinemaClown’s review published on Letterboxd:
Another addition to the list of numerous biographies portrayed on the silver screen last year, Wild is a wonderfully crafted, often rejuvenating & quite entertaining wilderness adventure from the director of Dallas Buyers Club that benefits hugely from Reese Witherspoon's committed performance but is also marred by its somewhat frustrating narrative style.
Based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir of the same name, Wild chronicles her journey of self-discovery as she goes on a 1100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in order to rehabilitate herself from years of destructive behaviour brought upon by the death of her mother & recent divorce. The film also covers many other events from her life in flashbacks.
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the hiking portion of the film follows a chronological order but the flashbacks are all squandered which in a way mirrors Strayed's reckless years but also become a bit annoying after a while. However, it does succeed in capturing the challenges women face in even something like hiking, along with every other facet of life, which is admirable.
Cinematography beautifully captures its lush locations, Editing lacks the required refinement & background score doesn't play any relevant role here. As for the performances, Reese Witherspoon delivers an audacious, captivating & marvellous performance, both physically & emotionally, and she is brilliantly supported by Laura Dern who plays her mother & is surprisingly convincing.
On an overall scale, Wild had all ingredients to succeed as a powerfully moving cinema but it is no emotional roller-coaster ride, unfortunately. The plot works in bits n pieces, is engaging when both Witherspoon & Dern are on the screen, is best when depicting her fear around men, and presents Witherspoon in one of the most challenging roles of her career. And yet, Wild isn't as emotionally resonant as I would've liked. Worth a shot anyway.