Wild, reviewed: Reese Witherspoon’s gutsy turn as Cheryl Strayed makes for a soulful cinematic stew

December 4, 2014 11:42 PM

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Cheryl Strayed rendered nothing less than her soul in her bestselling memoir, Wild, an account of her arduous 1,100-mile journey along the Pacific Crest trail. So it’s only appropriate that director Jean-Marc Vallée does a little rendering of his own in the movie version, even if it’s rendering of a slightly different kind.

Where Strayed sketched an emotional portrait of her own personal collapse and subsequent resurrection through sometimes raw, sometimes poetic, prose instalments, Vallée reduces the writing to its essence over the flame of film. Without fancy ingredients or gratuitous dashes of grandiose style, the Q...

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