Reese Witherspoon brings ‘Wild’ and Oscar hopes to Los Angeles

BEVERLY HILLS – It's been over two months since Jean-Marc Vallée's “Wild” premiered at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival, but the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir finally arrived in Los Angeles, and just in time for the heart of awards season.

Fox Searchlight threw an impressive LA premiere for the film at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater Wednesday night and the location couldn't have been more fitting. Star and producer Reese Witherspoon is pretty much a lock for a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Strayed, and co-star Laura Dern has an excellent chance of landing a supporting actress nod as the author's mother. Best Adapted Screenplay isn't out of the question and as more contenders fall by the wayside, Searchlight smartly isn't giving up on a Best Picture nod.

Besides Witherspoon, Dern and Vallée, almost the entire production team and cast were on hand including Strayed, “The Newsroom's” Thomas Sadoski (who has an important role as Strayed's ex-husband) and “Cougar Town's” Brian Van Holt (who plays a Park Ranger to nice comedic effect). Notable attendees included another Best Actress contender, Shailene Woodley, Bruce Dern, Jason Reitman, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, Nia Vardalos and – no joke – even Judge Judy stopped by (no doubt a voting SAG-AFTRA member!).  

For more on “Wild” read my review out of Telluride and look for an interview with Witherspoon, Dern and Strayed soon.

“Wild” opens in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 3. It expands into select cities on Dec. 5.