A Walk in the Woods (Film) – Review

Yesterday, we finally, finally saw Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’ featured by Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

After seeing ‘Wild’ we couldn’t wait for the next hiking film to be released. But to be honest, I didn’t read the book, so I didn’t really know what to expect. And after watching the film my feelings about it are mixed.

  • It’s humorous; the jokes are very subtle sometimes. It makes you smile and even laugh a few times which created a good atmosphere in the cinema.
  • The film is more about age, which doesn’t quite fit into Bryson’s context. Bryson was 44 when he walked the Appalachian Trail. Robert Redford was 78 when they filmed ‘A Walk in the Woods’. I think Redford is fantastic actor but not quite the right cast for this role. Same applies to Nick Nolte. Too old; they represent a different issue than the book.
  • I have never seen anyone throwing a 20kg backpack so easily over their shoulders with one hand like Redford and Nolte.
  • Unlike ‘Wild’ I didn’t come out of the theatre and wanted to start walking. (Maybe that’s a good thing. Longing for something you can’t yet follow up for several reasons is not a good feeling.)
  • (If you haven’t read the book and don’t like spoilers don’t read on:) Like I said before I haven’t read the book, so I was stunned to see the film ending with Bryson giving up after half the distance, not finishing the trail. It’s unusual for a Hollywood film not having a ‘happy ending’. The concept itself can be charming but it left me a little unsatisfied.
  • Also the background knowledge that they didn’t film on the Appalachian Trail most of the time is kind of a spoiler. Despite that they did have some really nice shot of Georgia and North Carolina.

Would I recommend the film to watch? Hmm… I don’t know, really. It’s nice to watch but not the greatest film ever. Should you spend your money on it? I’d say, wait until it’s on TV.

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7 Responses to A Walk in the Woods (Film) – Review

  1. The book is glorious – I have it on audio too – a great listen in the car as you drive to your camp spot! It sounds as those they felt that walking alone wasn’t enough for a movie so they added age which is a shame, Katz weight and general unhealthiness were amusing enough in the book and the gradual knowing and later loathing of each other – it’s a great book but I think I’ll give the film a miss. thanks for the review

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steffi says:

    I got a lot of feedback on this review and people generally say that the book is much, much better than the film. So if you didn’t like the chapter you were reading about, then just leave it. You can still watch it when it’s in TV in 1.5 years :).

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  3. In Australia we have some postcard stands which contain only free cards that are usually promoting something. One of these ‘cards’, was a chapter from Bill Bryson’s book and after I read it, knowing how one person lagged and wasn’t into the spirit of walking and enjoying the walk, I thought that I wouldn’t want to see the film. Friends have urged me to go and see it because they know I like walking. But I haven’t (although I did see the shorts before another movie I went to see) and I won’t because it seems like the film is not about walking as I like and know it – its about something else. And now you have reminded me that the two main actors are miscast, clearly the spirit of Brysons story(which I didnt really like anyway) isnt met – it somehow makes my decision even more final. Thanks for your review

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Steffi says:

    Hmm i don’t know. But i know he didn’t write it. That was some other guy. The making of the has quite a long story. I think robert redford mentioned it in 2005 already…

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  5. PDXpersky says:

    I remember enjoying the book, but haven’t read it in years. I had no idea there was a film out! Any idea how much say Bill Bryson had over the screenplay, casting, etc?

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  6. Steffi says:

    Hmm I don’t know. Not really. It wasn’t much happening in the film. Bearable for 2hours, but reading the book over several hours and nothing happens?! On the other hand, many people live the book…

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  7. Thanks for the review 🙂
    I was vaguely considering going to see the film in theatre but I think I’m going to wait until it reaches TV or Netflix to watch it.

    Are you tempted to read the book at all now?

    Liked by 1 person

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