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A Walk in the Woods



In 1998 Bill Bryson wrote the book/memoir A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. The book talks about Bryson’s hike across the Appalachian Trail in a somewhat humorous style. The 2015 movie A Walk in the Woods is an adventure comedy biopic film and it is roughly based on the book. The film was directed by Ken Kwapis, produced by Chip Diggins, Robert Redford, and Bill Holderman, and the screenplay is by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman. The music is by Nathan Larson and the cinematography by John Bailey. It was edited by Carol Littleton. Route One Films Wildwood Enterprises is the production company and it was distributed by Broad Green Pictures. It was released on January 23rd, 2015 at the Sundance festival, and September 2nd, 2015 in the United States. The run time is 104 minutes. The budget was $8 million and the Box office is 14.7 million.

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The concept of A Walk in the Woods was actually in the making a decade ago; only a few years after the book was published. Robert Redford announced the movie in 2005 and also stated that he would not only produce but also star in the film adaptation of the book. Robert Redford hoped that his friend and costar Paul Newman would join and portray the character Katz, but a couple of years later he retired from acting. Although Chris Columbus had initially agreed, in 2007, to direct A Walk in the Woods, a year later it was said that the film was delayed and Barry Levinson would direct the film. Chris Columbus was known for directing the Harry Potter films and Home Alone, and Barry Levinson directed Rain Man. The Hollywood writer’s strike was responsible for delaying the production of A Walk in the Woods. Larry Charles was going to be the director but he was replaced by Ken Kwapis, known for his work in The Office and Big Miracle. Michael Arndt wrote the original draft and the final was written by Bill Holderman. Much of A Walk in the Woods was filmed in Dawsonville, Georgia.

hiking the appalachian trail

The cast includes Emma Thomson as Catherine Bryson, Robert Redford as Bill Bryson, R. Keith Harris as Sam Bryson, Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz, Kristen Schaal as Mary Ellen, Nick Offerman as REI Dave, Mary Steenburgen as Jeannie, Hayley Lovitt as Donna, Susan McPhail as Beulah, Linda Edwards as Darren, Gaia Wise as Becca, Randall Newsome as TV Host, Andrew Vogel as a hiker, and Derek Krantz as another hiker.

The story primarily focuses on Bill Bryson. Bryson is a writer and he spends 20 years of his life living in Britain, then moves to New Hampshire. He resides there for 10 years. As a middle aged man Bryson has become a fairly successful writer, but an interview on television declares that he is going to be publishing more books—which isn’t exactly the case, as Bryson is not working on any other pieces.

a walk in the woods

He later goes to a social event with his wife and it becomes clear that he is not very outgoing, and talking to people and socializing isn’t exactly his longsuit. A walk near the Appalachian Trail inspires Bill to hike it. His wife isn’t very supportive or happy about the idea, thinking it to be very dangerous. At last, she relents, on the terms that Bill finds someone to tag along with him, and this he does with some degree of difficulty. Most of the people he asks tell him they won’t go, and some even go so far as to say he is crazy for even attempting it. At last Stephen Katz, Bill’s former friend, steps out and takes the position. Bill’s wife doesn’t like Stephen for a hiking companion but she still says they can go. Stephen is not in the best shape, and in fact is overweight, and it appears he may still be an alcoholic.

Before Bill and Stephen get beyond a mile it begins to dawn on them how challenging the task may be for them. Children and other hikers pass them with ease as the two elder men struggle along, but it also ignites sufficient motivation in them to keep going. The two do not give up, meeting plenty of interesting people along the way. Eventually Bill and Stephen arrive at the more formidable section, after days of hiking, that has a sign which reads “for experienced hikers only.” They undergo quite a blunder at this point, as the two trip and fall some distance down a ridge. They land safely but find it impossible to return to the trail. Thankfully, the next day they are rescued by a group of hikers passing through.

After three long months of hiking Bill and Stephen trudge through the rain and come to a hut with a map carved into it. This map reveals that the two have only hiked one third of the whole trail, even though they had been walking for months. At last the two decide to turn back home instead of finishing it through. The name of the movie is revealed at the end, when Bill and Stephen have safely returned to their homes and Bill receives a post card from Stephen that asks “What’s next?” After this, Bill goes to his computer and types “A WALK IN THE WOODS.”

a walk in the woods parents

So far the film A Walk in the Woods has been received with slightly mixed opinions. To back this up Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie an approval rating of 46%, Metacritic gives it 51%, and IMDb gives it 6.7/10 stars. Many people who watched A Walk in the Woods certainly did like it, calling it funny, enjoyable, delightful, and overall fun. Many of those who liked the movie also read the book and enjoyed both, but those who did not read the book also found themselves having a good time. Critics of the movie call it “inconsequential,” saying that it feels artificial, little else but a walk, and some also did not like the differences between the movie and the film. Stream the film now with awesome bundles for your internet and TV.

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