Books, Review

Book vs Movie: Wild

Wild is a 2014 American biographical survival drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. The screenplay by Nick Hornbyis based on Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Strayed, alongside Laura Dern (as Strayed’s mother), with Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman and Gaby Hoffmann among several others in supporting roles.

Wild opened to positive critical reviews, with much praise going toward the performances of Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. Both actresses received Academy Award nominations for their performances, in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.


I only just discovered that Jean-Marc Vallée (the director) also directed ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ a movie I absolutely adored.
Wild, however, will not end up on my favourites list.

Let’s start of with the things I can be positive about, such as the atmosphere of the movie. I thought it was great. The landscapes gave you a sense of being alone. There was a good balance of silence and songs/text.
I liked Reese’s and Laura’s performances, Reese talking to herself and singing songs in her head was exactly how I had pictured Cheryl. Laura’s optimism through everything really hit me. Also, I feel like I have to mention the little boy in the wood (and the dog “Her name is Myriam” which was an important detail they left out 😉 ). His little song… wow.. (Yes, I cried.)

Unfortunately, that’s as far as my enthusiasm goes. I watched this movie with my husband and although he understood what was happening, I felt the need to explain things to him constantly. He didn’t like the way the scenes kept jumping around and I have to agree, it was a bit much. Half of the flashbacks did not get the time they needed to fully show what was happening. The horse for example, if you’ve only seen the movie, would you really know what was happening? That the horse was old and sick and needed to be put down but they didn’t have the money so they needed to do it themselves? Would you get that from the clip? I wouldn’t… So why even put it in if you can’t do it justice?

But what bothered me most of all was the amount of things they cut out of this film. It’s insane. Where’s the bear? Where’s the deer? (That same fox kept popping up which I thought was unnecessary. Okay, it represented her mum but it wasn’t part of her story, why would you put that in there? Why not focus on what actually happened?) Where are half of the people she meets on the trail? Where’s Doug, who was a real person and who Cheryl gave an extra mention at the end of the book. Was he one of the three boys she met on that camp ground? I wouldn’t know, they were nothing like the people in the book, who were nice and funny, here they were obnoxious and loud.
I could go on, but I’ll stop my ranting here. In short, I did not connect with anyone except for Cheryl and her mother while in the book, I connected with pretty much everyone. And I think that’s the main issue I have with the movie. I just.didn’… at all…

Will I remember the movie in a couple of years? No.

Will I remember the book? Yes.

It’s a simple as that.

Maybe I really should stop watching book to movie adaptations…
Or if you can, recommend me some adaptations that are actually good, that gave you the same feeling as the book did. I need something impressive to change my mind.

There’s still The Time Traveller’s Wife on my To Watch list, but honestly.. I’m scared.
Have you seen it? Is it any good? Should I watch it?

That’s all for now.

Love you all!


2 thoughts on “Book vs Movie: Wild”

  1. Het boek van The Time Travellers Wife was beter, de film was wel ok (alhoewel het wrs een beetje in hetzelfde bedje ziek is als ‘Wild’ – veel is weggelaten), maar geen must dus ;).
    Bij Wild heb ik eerst de film gezien, en nu het boek gelezen, en ik heb mij er niet zoals jij aan geërgerd… Maar toen ik het boek las, dacht ik wel op een gegeven moment: ‘tiens, in die film liepen er toch alleen maar ambetante kerels rond?’

    1. Ja voila!! Waar is de vriendschap, de gelijkgestemde zielen,… Ik was niet super geërgerd toen ik aan mijn review begon maar hoe meer ik schreef, hoe meer frustratie naar boven kwam 🙂
      En Time Travellers Wife ga ik dan niet al te hoog op mijn lijstje zetten…

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