The death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage drives Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) into years of destructive of behavior. Restless and reckless at the same time, she embarks on a 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in a journey of self-discovery.
The film is based on Cheryl Strayed’s autobiography of the same of name, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” which topped the New York Times Best Seller list, and was the selected for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Nick Hornby was tapped to write the screenplay.
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, “Wild” chronicles Cheryl’s great undertaking as the film flashbacks to when the protagonist flashbacks to when she was a little girl until her grown up years. It takes a look at her relationship with her mother Bobbi Grey (Laura Dern) and her failed marriage with her former husband Paul (Thomas Sadoski).
Both Witherspoon and Dern have been nominated for the Oscars, in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
Journey of redemption
Wilderness epics have been around since the beginning of cinema. Among many others are the 1912 silent film “The Conquest of the Pole”; the 1972 Sydney Pollack-directed “Jeremiah Johnson”; “Into the Wild,” written and directed by Sean Penn; and Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours.” But what drew filmmakers to take an interest in “Wild” was due to its different and less expected direction.
Vallée, who directed “Dallas Buyers Club,” said that the film is about the story of a woman who tries to seek answers to hard questions through one drastic decision.
“‘Wild’ is the story of a woman who wants to change her life and decides to do it in a very drastic way by going on this hike on the PCT,” he said. “It becomes quite a journey, a journey of discovering herself and facing life and asking herself all the hard questions. But it’s also a journey of redemption—that’s the thing.”
Echoing Vallée, Witherspoon, who won the Oscars for “Walk The Line,” said that the film would touch people in many ways.
“It’s about life, love, loss and family,” she said. “It’s about how a woman who thought she was completely broken, but found a way to reconstitute herself.”
“I wanted in ‘Wild’ to tell a true story of transformation—which to me means the journey never ends,” Strayed said. “I will always grieve my mother. And I can thrive. I can live. I can be happy. I’ll probably go on and make mistakes in relationships or with men or sex or whatever, but I can forgive myself for the mistakes I made in the past. To me it was all about sort of accepting. Acceptance was a big feeling for me.”