|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||USA 2014|
|Running time:||Approx. 116 min.|
After the death of her mother (Laura Dern), the fall into heroin addiction and the failure of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) has lost all support in her life. Hoping to find her way again, she makes a radical decision: completely alone she wants to hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from Southern California to Northern Oregon. 2000 kilometers through rugged wilderness and snow-covered mountain ranges - and all without any hiking experience. But Cheryl rises to the challenge and resists any temptation to give up prematurely. And that temptation grows stronger with every mile she completes, facing not only loneliness, pain, and all manner of danger, but also intensified memories of her past that are very painful.
Based on the acclaimed book by Cheryl Strayed, The Great Trip - Wild tells the story of a fascinating trip of self-discovery in stunning visuals. Adapted for the screen by none other than bestselling author Nick Hornby (About a Boy), the memoir was published in 2012. His screenplay lightens up the dramaturgically very heavy story a bit with subtle wordplay and purposefully interspersed humor here and there. Given the many dark flashbacks that show Cheryl on her path to self-destruction or the slow death of her mother, such lightening is absolutely necessary to keep the audience's mood from dragging completely down. Because ultimately, The Big Trip - Wild is supposed to spread a positive, life-affirming message. And that comes across far better when the audience isn't completely depressed before a small glimmer of hope can spread.
Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), of course, doesn't rely solely on great imagery for his portrait of a woman in danger of breaking down in the modern world and seeking her own personal salvation in the wild outdoors. First and foremost, his drama is driven by a magnificent Reese Witherspoon, who believably transports all facets of Cheryl to the screen. Whether she's the loving daughter and wife, the drug-addicted adulteress or the tough loner, the Oscar winner delivers an extremely strong and stirring performance at every moment, carrying the film through its more tame moments.
Even if The Big Trip - Wild is not a masterpiece purely on a dramaturgical level and moves on rather familiar terrain, the film has become a really strong piece of cinema thanks to the engaging direction and the intense acting of the lead actress, which also works really well due to the perfect interplay of images, music and story. If you can put up with a few small lengths for this, you should definitely join Reese Witherspoon on her big trip. Absolutely worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp