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Written by / 12/25/2014 / No comments / , , ,

REESE WITHERSPOON PRODUCES AND STARS IN WILD

year: 2014 rating: **1/2
WILD mirrors INTO THE WILD but with a happy ending. Not a spoiler since this is a completely documented true story, and a life-affirming one at that – perhaps too much so, taking away from what was probably a much more painstaking trek across the Pacific North Trail spanning from Mexico to Oregon.

Carrying a backpack almost as big as she is, Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl with intense determination and bouts of dry humor, surprising for a young woman kicking heroin and fighting other mental demons – these things we catch during flashbacks throughout the arduous hike.

The non-linear backstory works and it doesn’t: while nicely edited, we don't really suffer through Cheryl’s pain beyond sporadic glimpses, making it hard to decipher which was more difficult: her tragic past or the present day (at that point, the mid-90’s) climb: While one is loaded with heartache, including the death of her mom, a divorce with a genuinely nice man and numerous sexcapades fueled by drug use, the other – what the movie is really about – has but a few obstacles that, while not altogether lacking tension and suspense, seems more like a breezy existential travelogue than a cathartic journey.

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