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Fox Searchlight Sets ‘Wild’ Starring Reese Witherspoon For Oscar-Friendly December 5th Release, Plus New Photo

by Edward Davis
May 12, 2014 1:11 PM
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There’s lots of reasons to be interested in “Wild,” Fox Searchlight’s upcoming drama starring Reese Witherspoon. For one, it could be her “127 Hours,” as it's about a woman in the wilderness all by herself and by all accounts, like that movie, it’s mostly a one-(wo)man show. Secondly, it’s directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the filmmaker behind “Dallas Buyers Club” who directed Matthew McConaughey to his first Best Actor Oscar award earlier this year. It’s also written by celebrated author Nick Hornby.

We already had a hunch this one could be a strong vehicle for Witherspoon and placed it on our 2014 Premature Oscar Predictions for Best Actress. And maybe there’s something to that; Searchlight just announced that the film has been dated for an Oscar-friendly December 5th release date later this year.

Here’s the official synopsis:

With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon)has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. WILD powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.

It's unclear how much of a one-woman show this is because Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Gaby Hoffmann, Kevin Rankin and Michiel Huisman co-star (but “127 Hours” had its share of small quick character cameos too). “Wild” will open in select theaters, likely followed by a rollout similar to “Dallas Buyers Club” (a movie that didn’t seem like it was on anyone’s Oscar radar in the fall and then turned around and took home three Academy statuettes in February). And check out a new photo of the film below.

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  • Snoop Dog | May 15, 2014 3:22 AMReply

    Honest question: how much sex does Reese do in this movie? The book is filled with sex and the director mentioned sex a couple of times when describing the film. I'm guessing Reese lets go of her inhibitions and we see her naked for the first time in +15 years? How hard core will her sex scenes be? Will she go all the way with a Halle Berry type of scene or something tamer? I think she does, at least, a Kate Winslet style nude scene (circa Little Children).

  • ASFan | July 12, 2014 1:30 PM

    I've read some reports of full-frontal, but not while she's having sex, though.

    It's been a pretty banner year for female nudity, I must say. Between Alexandra Daddario and Scarlett Johansson making their debuts, Witherspoon doing it again after having done it previously nearly 20 years ago, and Eva Green doing it in not one, but possibly two Frank Miller adaptations, plus her new TV show, nothing is gonna beat this year.

  • Snoop Dog Again | May 15, 2014 3:23 AM

    If she does a nude scene, I say she gets an Oscar nomination.

  • Parker | May 13, 2014 6:44 AMReply

    The Good Lie, Wild and Inherent Vice - I think Witherspoon will have an extremely good year. Early reviews of Wild and IV are very positive. BTW, she did some fine job since 2005 too, for example she was great in Rendition - mostly with in co-scenes with Peter Sarsgard - and pretty cool in Mud.

  • Ariane | May 12, 2014 7:53 PMReply

    Really don't care for Witherspoon, but Vallee did an excellent job on Dallas Buyers Club which could so easily have descended into bathos, dragging McConaughey and Leto's extraordinarily powerful pas-de-deux down with it. He kept the pace brisk and the camera a documentarian's distance away, just letting the beauty of the performances, the witty script shine through without overdoing things.

    Witherspoon isn't an actor on the order of Leto and certainly not McConaughey, but I'll keep an open mind. Though I notice her husband is Vallee's agent (he's also McConaughey and Leto's agent) and I fear Vallee might have been coerced into trying to give Witherspoon a McConaissance of her own (ain't gonna happen).

  • Liz | May 12, 2014 3:27 PMReply

    "Dallas Buyers Club" won three Oscars, not four.

    (Which is still three more than it should have won, but eh.)

  • Snow | May 12, 2014 8:52 PM

    Witherspoon already has an Oscar, she doesn't need a McConaissance. And she's one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. She's doing fine, no one has to be forced to work with her, that's absurd.

  • Henny | May 12, 2014 6:35 PM

    No, Drew. She's a horrid actress and a diva.

  • Drew | May 12, 2014 4:28 PM

    DBC deserved everything it won, Oscars, Golden Globes, SAG, you name it. It wouldn't have won so much if it wasn't fantastic.

    I'll be interested to see this movie, and if I'm recalling correctly, Reese made this movie shortly after having a baby. Congrats to her for taking on such a physically demanding role. Say what you will about her, she's a strong woman and inspiring.

  • L | May 12, 2014 1:45 PMReply

    So it's basically Tracks sans-camels and much more crowd-pleasing.

  • Ariane | May 12, 2014 11:26 PM

    Snow - check out the imdb. She hasn't been in a critical hit since Walk the Line in 2005. Flop after flop with the exception of Mud and she only had a bit role in that. She definitely needs a McConaissance of her own. Her career is in worse shape than Johnny Depp's, and that's saying something.

    She alienated the public with the drunk driving incident and her 'loveable' image suffered badly. She needs to show she has the acting chops and hasn't done that since 2005.

  • cirkusfolk | May 12, 2014 1:25 PMReply

    I see more of an Into the Wild comparison than 127 Hours. Hell, the word "wild" is in both titles.

  • C | May 12, 2014 2:06 PM

    Agree. Way more "Into the Wild." This isn't even remotely similar to "127 Hours," which you would've know if you've even read the book in which its based.

    Both Christopher McCandless and Cheryl Strayed abandoned their lives to seek solace in the wild to understand the facests of life better. "127 Hours" was a survivor story.

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