Film review: A Walk in the Woods (9 out of 10)

A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods

You have the admire Robert Redford. He’s had a glittering career but, close to his 80s, refuses to just kick back and live on memories.

These days he has a few cameo roles and occasionally chips in with a solid lead performance.

But these films don’t tend to be easy.

Back in 2013 he starred in the super All is Lost which had virtually no dialogue and involved a lot of physical action

A Walk in the Woods isn’t an easy role as Redford has to hike through some tough but beautiful countryside and climb various hills.

I first became aware of Redford back in 1969, watching him in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He was already a star with dashing good looks.

He still looks great and in top physical shape and retains that star quality.

This latest outing for Redford is based on author Bill Bryson’s book.

After many years living in the UK, Bryson returned to the USA but did little in the way of writing.

One day he decides to walk the very tough 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail but is badgered by his wife into taking someone with him.

After everyone turns him down an old grizzled and distinctly unfit acquaintance, Stephen Katz, offers to go along.

This buddy/road movie is centred on the trip, during which the pair encounter fierce weather, vicious wildlife and the odd angry husband.

It’s a gentle tale full of humour with Redford and Nick Nolte as Katz in great form.

Emma Thompson as Bryson’s wife Catherine only has a brief part but is superb and there’s a lovely cameo from Mary Steenburgen.

The language is a bit fruity, hence the certificate, but there’s much to admire in this movie.

Great acting, superb locations, excellent music and some thoughtful direction from Ken Kwapis add up to a masterful movie.

Film details: A Walk in the Woods (15) 104mins

Director: Ken Kwapis

Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

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