Thee project WILD was born in 2012 when the actress Reese Witherspoon had just set up his own production company, Pacific Standard, with her partner Bruna Papandrea. Several months before its publication, she receives what will become a best seller for Cheryl Strayed that recounts his experience, a long walk in the mid-1990s, intended to allow him to make the point about his life. Reese Witherspoon decides to adapt the story for the film and committed Jean-Marc Vallée, then in post-production of Dallas Buyers Club to achieve it. This last is not willing that this actress to play Cheryl Strayed manages to make it turn. A year after the metamorphosis of Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (best actor Oscar in 2014), we are witnessing with awe to that of Reese Witherspoon in this role is extremely physical.
After several years of wandering, addiction, and the failure of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) takes a radical decision : she turns her back to her past and, without any experience, embarks on a journey that is solitary of 1700 kilometers, on foot, with for only company the memories of his mother disappeared… Cheryl is going to face his greatest fears, to approach its limits, flirting with madness and discover its strength.
WILD. A title that reminds us inevitably Into the Wild directed by Sean Penn in 2007 where a young man decided to reject modern society, and the american dream for the discovery of nature. However, the film from Jean-Marc Vallée is much more than a female version ofInto the Wild. Cheryl Strayed is a young woman fell to the lowest. Having lost everything, in large part, by his fault, she left on a whim and gave itself three months to make the point about his future. Three months during which it is triggered, without any knowledge, in a long trek of 1700 miles. This is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the hiking trail, the most difficult and wild America. During his long and painful journey, Cheryl thinks back to her past and what brought him here. The flashbacks allow the viewer to discover as to what caused this decision. The first flash-back reveal of the characters and events of the past from Cheryl as clues scattered around. Subsequently, the flashbacks become real sequences. One discovers there the descent to hell of Cheryl, how after the loss of his mother (the charming Laura Dern), she takes refuge in drugs, sex and self-destruction. It is during these scenes that Jean-Marc Vallée can work on its staging, and create an atmosphere that is strong in emotion. The rest of the time the simplicity of a camera is enough to film the natural scenery as beautiful and impressive. In just 2 hours of film that summarizes a journey of 3 months, WILD makes us travel in the beautiful scenery of the Western us. We go with pleasure of the rocky mountains and arid with snow-capped mountains, through forest sites in the rain.
”A character moving, sumptuous décor and the music poignant. It is with this simple set that WILD is a moment of cinema is unforgettable”
In the middle of this immense scenery is a blonde, petite and slim with on the back a backpack twice his size. This is Reese Witherspoon absolutely unrecognizable. Even though it was already well turned into Mud : On the banks of the Mississippi river from Jeff Nichols (2012), here it is pushed to do evil. Every scene is a struggle. This starts in a humorous way and burlesque at the start of the journey when the actress tries by all means to wear the bag too heavy. From the moment of the determination of his character to impress. Even literally crushed by all this weight, she manages to get up and leave. A weight that represents the past of Cheryl, that she must wear on his shoulders. The work of Jean-Marc Vallée with the body of the actress is particularly interesting. Reese Witherspoon is covered in bruises to the legs and redness to the shoulders. Several times the filmmaker reveals the nakedness of the young woman that he filmed masterfully. His camera goes down to the bare body of the actress, revealing her neck, her back and buttocks. The audience remains mesmerized by the marks that covered his skin. The director manages to hide the physical beauty of the actress, because the important is the task performed by Cheryl Strayed. A part of his life and rebirth but also the 1700 kilometres it travels. Far from being a model in her past life, she becomes for the other hikers she meets. Being one of the few women to start in the PCT, it will force admiration, and respect. And the beauty of the actress comes from advantage of his aura that manages to create the director. A confirmation when, after several days of loneliness, Cheryl spent the night with a man she meets. This second sequence reveals the body of Reese Witherspoon no longer causes the horror of his injuries. The young man embraces gently the redness, and Jean-Marc Vallée plunges us into a moment of grace for the love scene, in contrast with those presented earlier. A scene determining who will be the permanent change to the character and the life of the heroine.
In the manner of his previous film, Jean-Marc Vallée puts in scene the WILD almost flat. Little twists and turns, but a few moments of emotion unsettling, are more than sufficient. In fact, the main strength of the film comes from its general atmosphere attractive, achieved in part by the excellent soundtrack. Titles varied, fit together perfectly, and a link between the image and the sound extremely well worked. Regularly, the songs move from its extra-diégétique to intra-diégétique. A set of sound editing, which gives the pace of the film. Because all of these songs are pieces of life and of the past of Cheryl. The latter sings to occupy himself in solitude, and repeats significant words to encourage. “I am a hammer, not a nail !” stare at the young woman while the viewer hears El Condor Pasa (Of I Could), a composition made famous by the version of the folk duo Simon and Garfunkel where does this phrase (” I’d rather be a hammer than a nail “). But each title also has a deeper meaning. In particular, when making a stop, Cheryl heard on the radio I Can Never Go Home Anymore performed by the pop group, women of the 1960s, The Shangri-Las. The emotion grows as she relives by a flashback to a moment from his childhood with his mother. A moment of intimacy all the more poignant by the words that, of course, think of the situation of Cheryl. A character moving, sumptuous décor and the music poignant. It is with this simple set that WILD offer of a movie moment memorable.
The other outputs of the January 14,
The news of director Jean-Marc Vallée
• Original title : Wild
• Achievement : Jean-Marc Vallée
• Screenplay : Nick Hornby, based on the work of Cheryl Strayed
• Main actors : Reese Witherspoon, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern
• Country of origin : U. S. A.
• Released : January 14, 2015
• Duration : 1h55min
• Distributor : Twentieth Century Fox France
• Synopsis : After several years of wandering, addiction, and the failure of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed takes a radical decision : she turns her back to her past and, without any experience, embarks on a journey that is solitary of 1700 kilometers, on foot, with for only company the memories of his mother disappeared… Cheryl is going to face his greatest fears, to approach its limits, flirting with madness and discover its strength.A woman who tries to rebuild itself decides to do a long hike on the west coast of the United States.