- Career Resurrection: After a string of critically panned flops, Reese Witherspoon's career was reduced to small supporting roles. This gave her back her leading status and gave her an Oscar nomination.
- Dueling Works: With Tracks, also Based on a True Story about a young woman taking a long trip by foot (starring Mia Wasikowska), that came out a few months earlier.
- Playing Against Type: Witherspoon is usually known for her hammy performances or roles in romantic comedies. Here, it's the most subdued she's ever been and it's certainly far from a romantic comedy, it's not even funny.
- Real-Life Relative/Timeshifted Actor: Cheryl Strayed's actual daughter, Bobbie Strayed Lindstrom, plays the young version of her mom.
Trivia / Wild