Movies: A Walk In The Woods

Writer Bill Bryson and his friend Stephen Katz set out to hike the Appalachian trail.
Writer Bill Bryson (Robert Redford, left) and his friend Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte) set out to hike the 2,000 mile Appalachian trail.
Photo by Frank Massi – ©2015 Broad Green Pictures

Naturalist/travel writer Bill Bryson’s 1996 book about hiking on the 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail which runs from Georgia to Maine, is the plot of A Walk in the Woods, the new film starring Robert Redford (as Bryson) and Nick Nolte as his friend (whose real name is Matt Angerer, but who is called Stephen Katz in the film). The trek proves arduous, but the scenery is some of the most beautiful in our country.

As young men, Bryson and Angerer went to England together. There, Bryson met his wife Catherine. She’s nervous about the two going on the hike but is ultimately supportive.

The film is a quiet one, with odd moments of deep humor, as when they meet Mary Ellen Kristen Schaal, a woman hiking the trail by herself. Along the way the come face-to-face with two hungry bears loitering around their tents.

In all, this is a lovely film, an adult movie aimed at an older audience. On the latter basis it succeeds admirably. A Walk In The Woods is intelligent and is aimed at an intelligent audience. Check it out.