Wild benefits strongly from it's directing and editing. I don't know if this movie would work at all if the story was told in order, but thankfully the director and screen writer chose to frame the movie as a sort of mystery. Having the motive behind Cheryl Strayed's decision to hike the 1,000 mile journey across the Pacific Crest Trail unfold to us piece by piece through flashbacks.
The acting here is top notch from both the big names (Luara Dern and Reese Witherspoon are especially great) and the supporting cast alike. The scenery is beautiful and is complimented well by the often handheld camera work.
The one minor complaint I had with this film was the ending. The dialogue that tells us everything's going to be all right for Cheryl seemed too easy, I would have preferred something a little more subtle. After watching her struggle through the entire film I do believe we've earned the right to see her succeed, but this movie takes pride in it's realism, and I think a more subtle ending would suit its narrative style. The existing ending does wrap it up, and when the trek's over, that's all we really want anyway.