Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild is one such film. Admittedly, the whole "woman discovering who she is" storyline isn't exactly original but Vallee does his best with the all-too-familiar storyline. (Is it too much to ask for a female-led film that doesn't involve self-discovery?)
Even though the film was directed and written by men, Wild is surprisingly sympathetic. Flashbacks show Cheryl as very sexually active (she gets pregnant at one point though we don't see the outcome of it) and a drug user. Her actions aren't condemned by wither Vallee or Nick Hornby though they are condoned a bit. (Not by a lot but they are.)
At the center of Wild is Reese Witherspoon, an actress who doesn't always get the credit she deserves. (Election and Walk the Line are two obvious but prime examples.) Here, she's in a role that's stripped of glamour, one of rawness and vulnerability. It's something not commonly seen amongst most female performances but Witherspoon does a great job with the role.
Wild is very well done thanks to the work from Vallee, Hornby and Witherspoon. Though the film could have used a feminine touch, it still maintains a solid disposition. Quite frankly, we could do with more films like this. You know, with a good female lead.
My Rating: ****1/2