Starts January 15, 2015
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writing credits: Nick Hornby, Cheryl Strayed
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern
Length: 115 minutes
“I’m gonna walk myself back to the woman my mother thought I was”, might sound like a random thing to do when one has long hit rock bottom. After her mother’s (Dern) death, former goodie two-shoes Cheryl (Witherspoon) is now a heroine user and has wrecked her marriage through countless affairs. She starts out on a journey along the Pacific Crest Trail with a heavy backpack to carry and no hiking experience what so ever. Her walk of shame turns into a spiritual journey, in which Cheryl confronts her demons.
Cheryl is smart, pretty and well loved by her husband. It is hard to say why she chooses a path to self-destruction. At first glance, she is nothing but the paragon of self- pity. But during her journey, it becomes clear that a sort of despair haunts her that goes beyond any grief. She walks her feet to mush, loses toenails, screams at the elements, “just to find something in herself”. Cheryl has bared a core-wound that leads many spiritual seekers to waver: the pain about the fact that all searching so far has come to nothing. This is when I start to admire her. She could easily have ended her life with a “golden shot”. Instead, she dives into her own depths, even if redemption seems nothing more than a possibility. (Katia T.)