Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Go Wild with Reese Witherspoon and the director of Dallas Buyers Club


Updated: 6/17/2014   
I added Wild to my guide to this year's movies based on books. earlier this year but I missed the news that the movie is slated to come out December 5th. Looking forward to a trailer one of these days. 

I'm getting super excited to see what Jean-Marc Vallee, fresh from directing the powerful Dallas Buyers Club, does with Cheryl Strayed's Wild. Scripted by Nick Hornby no less. While there's no release date for the screen adaptation I tweeted the author who confirmed that the film is coming out in 2014. I would have liked to ask Strayed, who I've heard visited the location and may have a cameo, a few more questions -- how did it feel to see a challenging part of your own life basically re-created on a movie set?  what does Jean-Marc Vallee do - or not do - to get the extraordinary performances he does? and what was it like to be 'played' by a gorgeous 'movie star'? My guess would be surrreal -- but I didn't want to intrude; yeah sorry, I'm way too introverted to be a really good blogger. 

Wild is Cheryl's story, that of the inexperienced, then-26 year old's 1,100 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995. Strayed, told Dwight Garner in the New York Times 
... she began her hike because her life was in meltdown. “I was living alone in a studio apartment in Minneapolis, separated from my husband and working as a waitress, as low and mixed-up as I’d ever been,” she writes. Her mother had recently died, effectively rendering her an orphan. (Her father had vanished when she was 6.) She was using heroin; she had, she says, slept with too many men."




Garner really raved about Strayed's writing - he admitted to crying, saying he "was reduced, during her book’s final third, to puddle-eyed cretinism."   And followed that with the disclaimer ...
To mention all this does Ms. Strayed a bit of a disservice, because there’s nothing cloying about “Wild.” It’s uplifting, but not in the way of many memoirs, where the uplift makes you feel that you’re committing mental suicide. This book is as loose and sexy and dark as an early Lucinda Williams song. It’s got a punk spirit and makes an earthy and American sound."
That sounds fantastic! Wild has been out for a couple of years so I know a ton of you finished reading Strayed's memoir long ago but I seem to keep putting it aside for fiction, as well as books whose adaptations are closer to being released in the 'cinemas'.  For example, right now I'm reading Joyce Maynard's Labor Day, before the movie comes out everywhere January 31, and Eleanor Henderson's Ten Thousand Saints because production just got underway in New York and I'm curious about the casting.



A question for you Wild fans: Should I bump the book up on my TBR pile? And are you jazzed to see Reese as Strayed? I guess we should plan on bringing hankies to the theater. From what Vallee told EW, Reese Witherspoon is giving it her all. 
She went method with the hair and no makeup,” says Vallee. “We wanted to see Reese out there, not vain at all, not concerned with her image, and she went for it. Wait until you see her in the film. It’s a new Reese.”
The cast of Wild includes Laura Dern and Thomas Sadoski as Strayed's husband. Love him in The Newsroom; will I hate him in this role?

2 comments:

  1. Wild takes you on a physical and emotional journey that you feel you've taken yourself. This movie doesn't hold back on what Cheryl Strayed has gone through in her life and on the 1000 mile journey. I laughed, cried, cringed and felt my own body and heart hurt. Very real, very good.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Really an incredible journey, and I love how she came through it. Pretty inspiring woman, bold, brave and beautiful.

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