Why can I never remember that I like Reese Witherspoon? I s'pose it was either the Jake Gyllenhaal situation or the Four Christmases period where we soured on each other, me and the aura of Reese, but I never go into any of her movies anymore anticipating Reese-centric pleasure. So I went into Wild looking forward to precisely one thing - Laura Dern, natch. (You know my good friend, Laura Dern?) Laura kept her end of the bargain, she always does and then some (she's terrific and precise with a literally sketchy character that could've been an oatmeal nightmare in somebody's less capable hands), but Reese, Reese was very fine, and in much the same way - this character (and the film as a whole) could've blown patchouli dust in my eyeballs and made me run, but Reese (and the film as a whole) kept it even-keeled and anti-obnoxious.
It's a much smaller, more intimate movie than I anticipated - for all the miles she treks, it's really only about the slightest shift in perception by the end. A shift that makes a gigantic difference of course, but I suppose I feared the movie would be histrionic about it, as if this blonde lady's plight was shaking the Earth to its core, and it wasn't. The one issue I kept actually having with the movie was this narrowness of scope - I feel as if it skimps some on the Nature flavor; I wanted more Pacific Coast grandeur! There are really only a couple of times the movie decides to gives us the standard postcard pretty pictures I'd gone in anticipating, and honestly I wanted more. Gimme some Nature Porn, you guys! It's not just that I want to stare at pretty things (the movie does have shirtless Michiel Huisman in it, on that count) - I think it's important to the story, seeing the way this external environment affects her on an external scale. The movie's more interested in staying internal about it, though. It's not a terrible choice - it does keep it from being a generic travelogue. But I think they might've scaled it down a wee, just a wee, bit too much.