Reese’s latest film ‘Wild’ is getting a ton of buzz about whether her starring role as a sharp-tongued woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone will be her next big Oscar win. So are critics wild about ‘Wild’? See what they are saying!
In the Jean-Marc Vallée directed film Wild, Reese Witherspoon, 38, plays Cheryl Strayed, an incredibly flawed and irresponsible woman who makes no effort to apologize for her past. She makes a hasty decision to embark on a journey to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest trail alone, while battling her demons along the way. With a noteworthy director and Oscar-winning-actress Reese, critics are saying Wild, could be the next Oscar hit.
Reese Witherspoon In ‘Wild’: Critics Reviews
Critics are raving about Reese’s raw and resonant performance in the film. She steps outside of the Reese that we are used to and gives the role of Cheryl her all. Here’s what critics are saying about Reese’s performance.
As for Witherspoon, there’s not a shred of her America’s Sweetheart persona in this work. She strips naked, literally and otherwise, in a raw, brave performance … Witherspoon does a beautiful job of subtly showing the growth in this woman.
The real bravery comes from her playing a woman who makes mistakes (and instead of dwelling on them, learns from them). The real nakedness is when she shows us Cheryl’s selfishness, impatience, self-destructiveness—all those things that don’t necessarily make up a Hollywood heroine but do make up a real person.
Witherspoon ditches her sunny persona before she laces up her first mountain boot and plays Cheryl with real grit, drawing you in from the opening scene, in which she rips off a battered toenail. There’s been much talk recently of the 2014 Reese-aissance; Wild is all the proof you need that Witherspoon has indeed found creative rejuvenation.
Reese Witherspoon is in just about every scene of this film, often alone, and her unebbing commitment lifts the story above its therapeutic underpinnings. The philosophical observation with which the movie concludes is entirely familiar, and the projection of Cheryl’s unseen future is simply tacked on at the end. But the director, Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), captures some gorgeous high-country scenery, and draws subtle performances from the supporting actors (especially Thomas Sadoski as Cheryl’s sorrowful ex-husband). Witherspoon does all the rest.
Witherspoon’s edginess makes her easy—and fun—to read; her face registers every bump on the path. She has always been an actress who “indicates”—i.e., telegraphs her emotions—but up through Walk the Line, her tics were in the service of her tightly wound characters. It was only in the past few years, in her evident quest to be America’s sweetheart, that she wrinkled her large brow and worked her big jaw for the sole purpose of looking adorable. In Wild, though, her scrunchy face looks like the upshot of braininess, restlessness, having a motor that runs too fast. It captures the feeling of Strayed’s prose, which can seem a mite self-centered but is always processing.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Will you see Reese in Wild? Do you think she will win an Oscar for her role as Cheryl? Tell us your thoughts below!
— Julianne Ishler