Monday, February 18th, 2019

Film Review: A Walk in the Woods

Posted on September 14, 2015 in Arts & Culture, Movie Reviews
By USM Free Press

By Anora Morton, Contributor

The Appalachian Trail runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia, 2,200 miles North to Maine’s Mount Katahdin.

This trek of a hike is very popular with young people, but A Walk in the Woods follows two seniors, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) and his long estranged friend Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), on their adventure up the Appalachian trail.

Bill Bryson, a retired travel writer, is bored with being old. A Walk in the Woods stresses this fact, spending a sizable amount of time brooding over old age and its setbacks with funeral scene. In the film you watch two elderly men struggle though a task they are simply not prepared for, on a physical and mental level. The two men, whose companionship is forced by Bill’s worried wife (Emma Thompson), don’t ever quite mesh as well as is expected from the setup of a childhood friendship, but carry on throughout the film bouncing delightful sarcastic quips off each other.

This film is not a life changing experience. The 1998 travelogue by the same title written by the real Bill Bryson was a hit, but this film seems to float under the radar for most. This could be because it suffers the same content cut most book to film adaptations suffer; or it could also be the pins and needles feeling some might get watching the Emma Thompson reduced to a nagging housewife character built from slight spin offs of “you can sleep in the dog house” type tropes. Redford and Nolte have good chemistry and a believable friendship.

A Walk in the Woods is perfect for when your are at the end of a long day, with an exhausted brain from school and work all day, but still ready for an adventure.

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