A Walk in the Woods – My two cents

A.T. section
A.T. section

I know that I’m late to the party.

The movie, A Walk in the Woods (AWITW), came out two weeks ago, but I just saw it on Tuesday. While everyone, including me, is eagerly waiting for the Everest movie, I’m reflecting on AWITW starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

You know the story, right? Robert Redford plays Bill Bryson, a successful American writer, who decides to walk the Appalachian Trail before it’s too late. Besides he needs a new book topic. The book, published in 1998, was an international best seller.

Bryson was in his mid-forties when he walked part of the trail. Redford is 79, so the script had to be changed to make him older with grandchildren, instead of children. Bryson’s wife insists that he not go alone, so he takes Katz, a fat alcoholic, played by Nick Nolte, age 74.

White TrilliumBeing in your seventies doesn’t make you too old to hike the A.T. But you have to be prepared, knowledgeable and keep your pack weight and your body weight down. Every hiker can tell you what was ludicrous about the movie.

  • They never used their hiking poles. Instead they carried them in their packs the whole time.
  • They get frightened by grizzly bears, bears not known to frequent the eastern part of the country. We have black bears, which could be frightening enough.
  • The Bryson character has packed a robe, slippers and, I assume, pajamas.
  • But their packs are so light that they can swing them over their shoulders, like a summer jacket.
  • The geography jumps around from Fontana Dam in North Carolina to Virginia back to Gatlinburg in Tennessee.

But at the end, the two old men quit somewhere in Virginia. At least they didn’t change the book so that they finish in Katahdin, Maine. The movie got lukewarm reviews. Some compared it to Grumpy Old Men. It was funny in parts, pathetic in others, boring as well. But Nick Nolte was very good and may get a supporting actor nominations.

I can’t wait for Everest, the movie.


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