What You Need To Know - February 22, 2016

A Walk in the Woods: What You Need To Know
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

A Walk in the Woods: What You Need To Know

Bill Bryson is one of the world's best-loved travel writers, detailing his journeys across the world with a combination of wit and insight that has seen the Anglo-American author sell millions of copies of his books, including titles like Notes From a Small Island, A Short History of Nearly Everything and Down Under, but A Walk in the Woods is the first of his books to be adapted for a feature film.

Directed by Ken Kwapis, the film tells the story of Bill's determination to postpone his retirement and tackle the Appalachian Trail, one of North America's most famous hiking trails that stretches across 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.

After a run in cinemas late last year, the film arrives in stores on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday (February 15th). Here's everything you need to know...

Who's in it?

Robert Redford takes on the role of Bill Bryson, with Nick Nolte co-starring as his friend and hiking buddy Stephen Katz. Emma Thompson plays the part of Bryson's wife Catherine, while elsewhere there are appearances for Parks & Recreation's Nick Offerman and stars of The Last Man on Earth, Kristen Schaal and Mary Steenburgen.

A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods Ken Kwapis

What's the plot?

Having spent 20 years living in England, Bryson and his wife have returned to his native New Hampshire where the author, now in his sixties, has been living out a comfortable retirement for the past decade. However, Bill is getting restless and while taking a walk on a part of the Appalachian Trail that runs near his house, he decides that he wants to reconnect with his own country by hiking the trail's full 2,200 mile length.

Bill's wife thinks he's insane and tries to talk him out of it, but he's determined and starts calling friends to recruit a hiking partner. However, all of them agree with his wife and decline the offer to accompany him on his trek – except for one. Bill receives a call from an old, long-lost friend named Stephen Katz, who is ready and willing to take on the challenge.

The problem is that Katz has put on a few pounds since the last time Bill saw him and isn't exactly a picture of good health, but although his wife isn't exactly pleased with Bill's choice of hiking partner, she relents and the pair set of on their months-long adventure.


Does it deliver?

If you're a fan of Bill Bryson's books then you'll be pleased to know that the humour translates well onto the screen, largely thanks to the chemistry between Redford and Nolte. It's also a beautiful looking film; the Appalachian Trail has plenty of stunning scenic locations and the more adventurous among you might well find yourselves getting itchy feet just watching it. It'll probably appeal to older viewers, but Bryson's storytelling is entertaining for all ages and this is a charming adaptation of his work. You can find the trailer below...

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