Jean-Marc Vallée directed two actors to not only their first Oscar nominations last year, but their first wins, as “Dallas Buyers Club” stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto ended up walking away with gold that felt preordained early in the season. This year he could do the same for Reese Witherspoon, who won the Best Actress Oscar for “Walk the Line” back in 2005 and has a significant opportunity in “Wild” to remind us what she's capable of.
The poster arrived yesterday and today, the trailer. The film tells the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who in 1995 set out to exorcise herself of various demons – drug use, her mother's death, her unfortunate sexual escapades – by hiking the 2,600-mile Pacific Coast Trail, which stretches from the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Diego all the way to the Canadian border near Mt. Baker in Washington.
A few months back Vallée told Entertainment Weekly that Witherspoon “went method with the hair and no makeup” for the role. “We wanted to see Reese out there, not vain at all, not concerned with her image, and she went for it…It's a new Reese.”
It certainly sounds like a recipe for awards potential, and I think it's entirely possible we see this one pop up at the Telluride Film Festival in a couple months. It just feels like the right material for the Rockies. And while many eyes will certainly be on Witherspoon, I'm hearing Laura Dern could absolutely be in the supporting actress mix, so keep an eye out.
Check out the new trailer below and tell us what you think.
“Wild” opens in theaters on Dec. 5.