Wild is a mildly-satisfying travelogue through one woman’s troubled life that never quite delivers the catharsis it promises. Reese Witherspoon gives a brave, physically-demanding performance, despite her character’s unconvincing psychological transformation. Director Jean-Marc Vallée deftly intertwines our hero’s tragic past with her epic hike along the Pacific coast, but neither informs one another on an emotional level. The result is a beautiful looking film that feels lonelier than a desolate mountain pass.
By just examining the title, L’immortelle appears to be the quintessential Alain Robbe-Grillet film. It’s French, it’s feminine (that is, it’s being used to describe a woman), and it translates to “The Immortal”, a reference to how often the woman appears posthumously thanks to its unique narrative structure. Robbe-Grillet is primarily known as a writer, and primarily known in the film world as having penned Resnais’s equally immortal Last Year at Marienbad just two years before this feature.