Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, Wild is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. Driven to the edge by the loss of her beloved mother (Laura Dern), the dissolution of her marriage and a headlong dive into self-destructive behavior, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) makes a decision to halt her downward spiral and put her life back together again. With no outdoors experience, a heavy backpack and little else to go on but her own will, Cheryl sets out alone to hike the Pacific Crest Trail — one of the country’s longest and toughest through-trails.
Powerfully moving and emotionally resonant, the film opens with the climactic loss of a boot as it slips from Cheryl Strayed’s mountain top perch, which is immediately followed by a barrage of flashback memories and thoughts — bursting images of a fox, of a horse, of dictionary definitions, of her mother’s face. This opening serves as a framework to outline the story, attempting to afford the viewer with a general overview into the journey that is about to unfold. Continue reading