If this was a bit earlier in the season and my own passionate preferences had something to do with these charts, I would have Snowpiercer‘s Tilda Swinton in slot #5 for Best Supporting Actress…hands down, no question. Laura Dern has it now because she’s been campaigning and out there and pushing the ball along. What am I saying? I don’t know what I’m talking about. I couldn’t suss the fifth slot so I went to Tom O’Neil‘s Gold Derby chart and decided to follow suit. I actually didn’t like her character very much in Wild. I hate people who insist on unhappiness-suppressing cheerfulness all the time. As for the fifth slot in the Supporting Actor chart, I completely agree with handing it to The Gambler‘s John Goodman. I think he was better in his way than The Judge‘s Robert Duvall was in his.
Just came across the only words I’ve written about Jean Marc Vallee‘s Wild, posted on 8.29 from Telluride. It was titled “Sore Feet and the Kindness of Possibly Predatory Strangers”:
“Scrappy, despondent, somewhat resourceful Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) goes on a thousand-mile journey-of-self-discovery hike in Wild, another in a long line of solo survival-in-the-wilderness tales (127 Hours, All Is Lost, Gravity, Tracks). Witherspoon handles herself pretty well. Okay , quite well — it’s one of those “watch me get down and pull out the stops” award-season performances.
“But the movie…I don’t know, man. It didn’t feel right at first — emphatic, hasty, tonally off in some way — and then it felt moderately okay and then better-than-half-decent in a tapestry-weave sort of way during the last half hour or so. I’m sorry but Wild is…well, some (many?) women will like it. That was my take-away from the Chuck Jones screening that broke around 4:30 or 5 pm. Some women and some guys, I guess (two were weeping during the screening). But smart-ass guys like myself are going to be checking their watches. I think it’s somewhere between (a) an earnest mixed-bag — a hit-and-misser that starts out poorly but gains as it moves along, and (b) a shortfaller.
“I didn’t hate it. It didn’t annoy me but I didn’t empathize a great deal with Witherspoon’s Strayed. I admire her determination and to some extent her survival skills but much of the film is about her depending on the kindness of strangers, at least a few of whom are nursing fantasies of getting sexual favors. On top of which she’s not the best prepared hiker. (Planning for ways to replenish your water supply helps.). On top of which Reese/Cheryl experiences far too many dream-flashbacks of her late mom, played by Laura Dern. It felt to me like there 30 or 35 Dern flashes. I was starting to go ‘later’ when the 20th appeared. (Written on iPhone while waiting in line outside Werner Herzog theatre to see The Imitation Game.)”