In my quest to watch all the Oscar nominated movies before the 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd, I am going into overdrive and catching up to watch as many as I can during the weekends. Last night I watched “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon as she is nominated for Best Actress in a leading role and I have to say she was phenomenal. I am not usually a huge fan of Reese and the only movie I really liked her in was “Cruel Intentions” with Ryan Phillippe who she was previously married to. I can’t say she really gained much from doing the ‘Legally Blond’ movies when it comes to acting challenges. In this movie however, she really did go “there” and by that I mean she challenged herself as an actress to portray the struggles of a woman dealing with the traumatic loss of her mother.
Wild is based on a true story of a woman named Cheryl Strayed, who embarks on a journey of a 1,100km hike during which she faces internal struggles with her past and the decisions she made since her mothers passing. I found the movie powerful in that it shows the struggles of a woman who may have lost herself temporarily but is still living, breathing and capable of walking this distance. Within her journey she forgives herself and she grieves of the loss of her mother. I found the overall message to be rather powerful in that you cannot runaway from your feelings and numbing them only temporarily fixes the situation if not worsens it in the long run. It is rather heartbreaking to know that these struggles were based on a true story and made the movie that much more effective. As a woman I was extremely saddened by the way that Cheryl had been used and harassed by some of the men around her. The internal struggles she dealt with were difficult to see such as: the use of heroin and sexual ventures she later would regret. Still, with all these struggles we were able to see how sometimes getting pushed over the edge can prove to be a positive point in ones life.
I really enjoyed watching this movie and would recommend it on a night you need to see something more meaningful. I would give this movie a 7.5/10 only because there were some moments that the flashbacks to her past were unclear and made things a little confusing. I think Reese Witherspoon did a fantastic job portraying the character of Cheryl Strayed but I don’t think she is going to grab the Oscar this year because she still needs to recover her portfolio from Legally Blond and she needs another movie like wild in order to do that.