[This is a re-post of my Wild review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie opens in limited release today.]
Perseverance is easier said than done. We all understand that if we can just get through this, push a little harder, fight through the pain, then we will more than likely come out on the other side better off than we were before. But it is so easy to stop trying. Laze seems to be some kind of natural instinct that takes over and tells us to just give up and accept our life as it is. Director Jean-Marc Vallée follows up last year’s Dallas Buyers Club with a much more solitary drama in Wild, which recounts author Cheryl Strayed’s three-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, during which she reflects on past mistakes and hardships, and struggles to find some inner peace. That’s a trite enough premise, but through Vallée’s confident, dynamic direction and a truly fearless lead performance by Reese Witherspoon, Wild turns out to be an honest, surprising, and unabashedly feminist chronicle of determination and rebirth.