The film that I focused on for this blog post is Wild, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and released in 2014. This was a successful film as it received a 90% rating according to Rotten Tomato and a 7.1/10-star rating on IMDb.
I personally chose this film because it is one of my all-time favorite movies (of course the book is even better). I find it truly inspiring that this woman had the guts to go on this insanely long hike on the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. I aspire to do something as daring as her one day. I also chose this film because I believe it was very well done.
The screenplay for this movie was written by Nick Hornby. Hornby went off of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. I have also read the book and the screenplay that was written for this film is almost identical to the writing in the book. Hornby does a nice job portraying Cheryl as the independent, self-reliant, intelligent and vulgar woman that she is through his screenplay. For example, in the book Cheryl curses a lot and in the movie, she does as well. A common camera shot that is seen within this film are shots where it is zoomed out from Cheryl hiking and the landscape and other individuals can be seen. I enjoy these camera shots because you can see the main actor, Cheryl is interacting with others and the vast wilderness around her.
Throughout the film, Cheryl has several flashbacks to painful memories of her mother. The director uses an abrupt jump cut change to flash back to these memories. Sound overs are also used by the director to transition back in forth between new scenes and flashback memories.
An actor in this film that does not play the main character is W. Earl Brown who plays Frank. This actor contributed his talents by playing a farmer who appears to be a dangerous man that Cheryl shouldn’t be accepting a ride, dinner and a place to stay for the night on her hike. Cheryl then learns that Frank is harmless and is just another kind individual offering her help and support on her trek. W. Earl Brown plays this character flawlessly and it really contributes to the film and showing that you should not judge an individual by their appearance and people really aren’t all that bad most of the time, two important lessons Cheryl learns on her journey.
There are several characteristic sounds that are made in this movie that were created by Foley sounds. For example, there are several occurrences when you can hear the crunching of the ground beneath Cheryl’s feet as she’s hiking through different terrain (snow, leaves, dirt and rock). The original motion picture soundtrack for this movie is composed of twenty-seven different songs. These songs were not all created specifically for this film. For example, the song Red River valley, performed by Evan O’toole was a song that was written specifically for this film. An example of a song that was not written specifically for this film is Tougher Than the Rest, performed by Bruce Springsteen. This was also a song that was added to the film.
One of the settings in this film is of Cheryl throwing her boot off the face of mountain because her other one fell off and tumbled down the mountain. My reaction to this setting was a realization of how alone she actually was out in the wilderness and how alone she actually was. Several negative and traumatizing flashback memories can be seen in this setting as well. This was Cheryl’s breaking point in the film.
Throughout the film, Cheryl’s costumes and makeup depict her as being “beat up” from the hike. She is depicted as being dirty, bruised, scratched and messy. Her clothes are also baggy, torn and dirty. These details add to the film and making the viewer believe that this actress is truly on this long trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.
IMDb. “Wild (2014) – IMDb.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2305051/.
IMDb. “Wild (2014) – Soundtracks – IMDb.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2305051/soundtrack.
Rotten Tomatoes. “Wild (2014) – Rotten Tomatoes.” http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wild_2014.