Thursday, January 8, 2015

Solo at the Movies: "Wild" at Landmark Theatres

Theater Info:
Landmark Theatres
10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
Cost: $10.25 for an 11 a.m. matinee showing

Movie Stats:
Released 2014 (USA)
American, in English
Director - Jean-Marc Vallee
Stars - Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern

Plot Summary:
Lost in grief after the untimely death of her mother Bobbi (Dern), Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon) embarks on a journey of self-discovery while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Blue language; female and male nudity (no full frontal); gore; drug use; relatively explicit sexy times.

Bad Stuff:
I felt that the nudity was all fairly gratuitous. It did nothing to further the story and seemed really out of place to me.

There was something about the way that every man behaved as though Cheryl was the most beautiful woman on the planet that I found self-indulgent.

Good Stuff:
There’s a lot to like about this movie. The acting is fantastic. The cinematography is breathtaking (the scene in the field with the cows made me want to pack up and move to the country). The film was handled in such a way (excellent script and direction) that it made a story that could have very easily been boring (it’s a woman walking in the woods for two hours) very interesting. I also really enjoyed the story itself. I feel that it’s relatable for pretty much anyone. Haven’t we all been a little lost at some point in our lives? For me, it was especially poignant, since I lost my mother in a similar fashion (although I didn’t go on a drug and sex binge afterward).

The Verdict:
I liked this movie a lot. When I initially heard of it, I didn’t have much interest, and I didn’t find the trailer particularly compelling. But I kept hearing a lot of good things about it, so when I happened to find myself with some free time, I decided to check it out. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a really great film.

I give it 4.5 stars.

About Landmark Theatres:

I’m very fond of this movie house. Located inside the Westside Pavilion (a mall), the parking is plentiful and free if you’re only there for three hours (they validate for a cheaper fee if you’re there longer than three). The staff is always friendly. I’ve been in four of their theaters and they were all quite comfortable. Also, there’s a great view of the mountains from the main lobby. My only gripe is that the tickets there are kind of spendy. $10.25 for a matinee is a lot, as far as I’m concerned.


Patricia said...

No drugs and sex binge for you? :-)

My first reaction was "$10.25 for a matinee!?!" So I see we are in sync on that topic.

Your comment about beauty and self-indulgent made me snort. It didn't really come across that way in the book for me, but Cheryl Strayed was very aware throughout of being an object. I think she is rather striking and thus has been reacted to that way a lot in her life. Then again, it could have been the direction.

Your comment about the nudity being gratuitous made me think you should write an essay or series of essays on the topic.

And I'm glad you liked it!

balyien said...

I think maybe the beauty thing is difficult for me to relate to because men have never really responded to me that way. Not that I never get compliments; I've just never been the type of woman that men fall all over themselves to do things for. Objectively, I understand that it happens. It just never happened to me, so it almost feels like a humble brag when other women talk about it.

I will consider the essay you speak of. Oddly, I'm not the one in my household who's typically bothered by gratuitous nudity; my husband is.