Cheryl Strayed. That is not only a sentence, it is a name. The author of a highly troubled memoir, she undertook a gruelling hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to avenge her demons and find her true self after years of self-destructive behaviour, death and divorce. The film is a tour de force for star and producer, Reese Witherspoon and Nick Hornby’s kaleidoscopic collage of a screenplay is a thing of wonder. For those of us who came up through the Nineties it is also a peculiar kind of valentine with its reminders of Riot Grrls and the grunge scene. Director Jean-Marc Vallee is true to the stream of consciousness that dictates Strayed’s thoughts and the film is at once gritty and delicate, examining the very mind of a woman. From that perspective it is utterly radical and unique particularly in the Academy Awards season which is dominated by stories of men. Talk about diversity? Why not talk about women? Fifty per cent of the population and we still can’t get a break. This should have been a contender.