After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte).
In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford), instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife, Catherine (Dame Emma Thompson), and large and happy family, challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail - two thousand two hundred miles of America's most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is anything but, once he agrees to being accompanied by the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek - his long-lost and former friend Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law - sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, "adventure". Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the ...Written by
Broad Green Pictures
Robert Redford claimed that while he and Nick Nolte did not in real life hike much of the Appalachian Trail during filming, they did walk miles per day in steps due to having to film shots of walking the same ground over and over for different takes. See more »
When Bryson and Katz arrive in the bunkhouse, a fellow hiker strikes up a conversation with Bryson. We see Bryson set down his pack next to a bunk bed with only a mattress and a pillow on the top bunk, then the camera momentarily switches to the hiker. When the camera switches back to Bryson, Katz's sleeping bag has noiselessly arrived on the top bunk. See more »
A Walk in the Woods is essentially a two-hander piece between Robert Redford's Bill Bryson, a traveling writer who teams up with his old companion Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte) for a hike along the 2,000 mile- plus Appalachian Trail. Bryson is a sarcastically funny cynic who has his life in a certain order that has become mundane for him, whereas Katz is a grumpy recovering alcoholic who still tries to re-live and remain in his more youthful days. Their contrasts can appear a tad caricature like, but their acting ability, charm, and on-screen chemistry binds the film together well.
Its a nice witty, little jaunt of a film and while some could be of the opinion that Redford might have wanted to make a bit of an environmental statement here (I disagree), Nolte keeps us entertained all through till the end. Seeing Emma Thompson is always a delight as Redford's wife Catherine Bryson, but it's truly Kristen Schaal as Mary Ellen, the annoying, obnoxious fellow traveler whom talks endlessly and knows all, that brings the most to her small, albeit scene stealing role.
As you might expect, yes there are a few lullsy moments throughout the film but A Walk in the Woods is no Wild nor does it try to be.. it's more 'The Odd Couple' on a roadtrip – buddy type film with Redford as Felix and Nolte as Oscar. It's a safe bet that will appeal to a older audience, though they might be a bit surprised with some of the language by these two wonderful actors and while very sweet..I would definitely put it in the category of "sweet & nice" which is a perfectly okay way to spend a few hours!!
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