Would you walk 1,000 miles just to? Well I guess in order to figure out life and where on earth it is taking you or you’re taking it! A young woman Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) struggles with the death of her mother Bobbi (Laura Dern) who died from cancer, her divorce from Paul (Thomas Sadoski) a man that treated her well but she cheated many times behind his back, drugs, alcohol and just overall misery. She partakes on a hike on the Pacific Coast Trail, unknowledgeable, somewhat unprepared, the only woman to take the journey and with a backpack that weighs more than she does.
Along her journey we are privileged through the use of flashbacks to take a look inside her life from childhood and her abusive father to her marriage filled with lies and deceit, along with her abuse of drugs, alcohol and her body by strangers. Cheryl, later known as the Queen of the PCT encounters other hikers along her path, snakes, bugs, heat, horses, coyotes, rain, snow, a fox and albeit the wrath of life, the memories that we hold on to and the realization that the life we lived is what makes us the person we are albeit good or bad and if given the choice to redo many people would not. Would Cheryl?
I enjoyed this film overall even though it runs a bit long and has no major peaks or valleys in the story mostly just a flat line straight down the path of the PCT. The score is well chosen to accompany a beautiful backdrop of wilderness as the director takes us on a journey for months showing us the good and bad of one woman alone on her journey to rediscover life. There is a small cast of characters throughout the story but overall the main focus is Witherspoon who by the way we see quite a bit of if you know what I mean! She should be Oscar nominated for this role which is developed quite well by the writers and the memoirs of Strayed. My only thought for this story would have been to add a little more levity and bit ore animal and environmental encounters but albeit I guess they tried to stay truly 100 percent accurate. If you’re looking to watch a film as if you’re reading a book, this story may be for you. Written and appreciated with two and a half out of four paws by Jon Patch.