Blu-Ray Review: ‘Wild’

– by Gig Patta

A single step for one woman starts a journey of 1,100 miles.

Cheryl Strayed’s real life story finally arrives on Blu-Ray/DVD today, which helped earned Academy Award nominations for Reese Witherspoon for Best Actress and Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress.

The Blu-ray is stacked with many extras that included featurettes, trailers, deleted scenes and a full movie commentary from director Jean-Marc Vallee.

“Wild” is a wonderful touching movie about Strayed’s solo hike for 90-plus days on the Pacific Crest Trail from Southern California to the Bridge of the Gods in Washington. She reflects on the memories of her departed mother and tries to gain closure during the journey.

Both Witherspoon and Dern indeed gave their top performances deserving of their respected Oscar nominations. The emotional interactions between the actresses produced a wonderful drama that pays tribute to Strayed’s memoir of “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.”

On the Blu-ray, there’s a lot of commentary from Vallee trying to keep the authenticity of the film to the memoir. Interesting fun production facts included Witherspoon’s no-makeup policy for most of the film, usage of natural lighting, actual site locations and how to reconstruct the 75-pound backpack for the journey.

There are plenty of deleted scenes included in the Blu-ray which has the optional director’s commentary. Some of the scenes included more interactions with her mother, a shoe tree and even pooping along the trail (yes, that was TMI).

The best feature from the Blu-ray will be the interactive Pacific Crest Trail map that journalizes her days and miles. And most importantly, the featurettes included some interviews with Witherspoon and Strayed herself.

The one important flaw from this Blu-Ray package will be that it should’ve included an audio film commentary from Witherspoon and the real Strayed. Many hiking enthusiasts would love to hear the minute-to-minute thoughts in the beautifully shot 115-minute movie.

Nonetheless, for serious Blu-ray collectors, “Wild” is an inspirational movie to keep in your collection.

Reviews, Film Wild, Reese Witherspoon, Cheryl Strayed, Jean-Marc Vallee, Laura Dern