×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’ Premieres to Oscar Buzz in Telluride

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Fox Searchlight’s world premiere of “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, kicked off the 41st Telluride Film Festival on Friday, screening to a packed Chuck Jones theater audience that included Witherspoon, co-star Laura Dern, director Jean-Marc Vallee and surprise guest Oprah Winfrey.

Wild,” based on the best-selling memoir, tells the true story of Cheryl Strayed, played by Witherspoon, and her hike across the 1100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

The pre-screening buzz on the adventure drama was all about Witherspoon. It was deserved: she offers a tour de force performance that moves her solidly into the Oscar race in the best actress category, where she last won in 2006 for “Walk the Line.” But the film should compete in many other categories, including supporting actress for Dern, who plays Witherspoon’s mother.

SEE ALSO: Photos from Telluride Film Festival’s Opening Day

Vallee, who last directed “Dallas Buyers Club,” easily matches his work on the Oscar-winning drama and awards voters may respond similarly. Like “Dallas,” Vallee gets great performances across the board, even from actors with one or two lines. And, like the Matthew McConaughey-Jared Leto drama, he and his screenwriter (here, Nick Hornby) are able to transform an unsympathetic character into a hero.

As one industry vet said, “The man next to me was copiously sobbing. But you know what’s going to make this film a hit: women.” The moviegoer theorized that the character’s struggles will connect with women more than other survival tales like “All is Lost,” “127 Hours” and “Into the Wild,” and the book found an enthusiastic audience as the first selection when Winfrey rebooted her influential book club.

The film’s next big test: Toronto.

Also co-starring Gaby Hoffman, “Wild” hits theaters on Dec. 5.

More Film

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content