This ambiguous title of “A Walk in the Woods” has the potential to lead down many different trails; however, the trail chosen was primarily functional. This film is just what it says: a pair of old friends walking in the woods.
Many of you may have yet to hear of this new movie that hit theaters this past weekend and, sadly, many of you probably never will. Although charming, the performance started and remained slow until the credits came. Despite this, I think some poignant moments were created. Here are my top five thoughts about two long-lost friends Bill Bryson and Stephen Katz, played respectively by Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, hiking the Appalachian Trail together.
Number One: Green screen action
Since I have never been on the Appalachian Trail, it may be unfair to judge, but I found there was a hefty amount of green screen action. If your plot is going to emphasize the beauty and authenticity of nature, I feel like your budget choices should reflect that.
Number Two: ‘Hang out’ with your grandparents
I think there’s an unfair tendency to link old people with wisdom. Not that this isn’t true, but the effects of this perspective can be limiting. When people become wise, they become stories. When they become stories, they can be viewed as stagnant.
Redford and Nolte, however, were the exact opposite of stagnant. They proved this association false when they decided to embark on this dynamic 2,180-mile journey. This movie showed that life doesn’t have to be merely reflective when a certain status is reached.
So, some advice and application from these two pioneers: instead of hearing your grandparents’ stories, try hanging out with them and their stories. Adventuring isn’t reserved for the young.
Number Three: Academy Award for Most Annoying Actress goes to:
Kristen Schaal starring as Mary Ellen. I know Anne Hathaway was able to easily earn an Oscar with about 30 minutes of screen time in “Les Miserables,” but a new record has been set. Mary Ellen was on screen for maybe seven minutes, but I disliked her by her second line. It was as if they tried to squeeze every personality pet peeve into one role.
Standing ovation for the role of Mary Ellen: a woman who almost made the pair prematurely quit their voyage via Daft Punk, unwanted arrogance and unbearable pep.
Number Four: Contentment does not mean failure
I think one of the shining messages of this movie was Redford’s acknowledgement that his life is good, and that’s okay. He made it: a beautiful family, a successful career and proud accomplishments. Some see it as cookie-cutter or mundane, but it’s far from a failure.
Life can be lived fully anywhere and under any circumstances if you choose to see it that way.
Number Five: Camaraderie can be found in anyone
Redford and Nolte’s characters were antitheses of each other. Although they traveled throughout Europe together in their 20s, their paths diverged drastically in the following 50 years. Redford is a successful writer with a wife and loving family, and Nolte is avoiding three warrants for his arrest. The success of their trip seems dismal, but they talk and walk, and they keep talking and walking, and they accept each other’s friendship on this walk through the woods
This movie may not blow up the box offices, but it’s a cute movie full of lessons and life. Everyone needs a movie with a classic metaphor as our walk through the school year begins.
Overall rating: 3/5 stars
Madelyn Johnson is a senior in psychology