Rick’s Journal    MY FILM CAREER

WILD:  FIRST VIEWING:  I expected to be always on the trail.  I was unprepared for so much flashback  —  many one- or two-frame moments of associative stream-of-consciousness.  Some of the flashbacks  —  here’s an oxymoron for you  —  present well-done raw sex.  For me, the frequent interruption of Cheryl Strayed’s journey lessened the hardship of her walk and the endurance it required.  In his thoughtful review in The Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern offers a good analysis of the effects of the steady flashbacks on the film’s structure and impact.

I found Reese Witherspoon especially good as a reactive performer.  She is at her best as she observes, studies and assesses other people, both strangers and members of her own family.  Lauren Dern is so vulnerable, it hurts.  She is winning, touching and heartbreaking.

FIRST VIEWING: QUESTION:  Was Cheryl changed by anything that happened on her long hike?  Or as she walked, was she changed by her reflections on what had already happened to her?  Are the flashbacks more integral than I thought?  And if so, do they alter Cheryl Strayed’s adventure?  I seem to be back to Joe Morgenstern.  (WSJ, 12/5/14.)

Jean-Marc Vallée



Until then,
See you at the movies,

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