Into the Wild is writer/director Sean Penn's adaptation of the popular book by Jon Krakauer, a nonfiction account of the post-collegiate wanderings of a young Virginia man, who divorces himself from his friends, family, and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. Upon his 1990 graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) walks away from a loving if dysfunctional family and sends his nearly 25,000-dollar life savings to Oxfam International. ...
Into the Wild is writer/director Sean Penn's adaptation of the popular book by Jon Krakauer, a nonfiction account of the post-collegiate wanderings of a young Virginia man, who divorces himself from his friends, family, and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. Upon his 1990 graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) walks away from a loving if dysfunctional family and sends his nearly 25,000-dollar life savings to Oxfam International. Instead of the normal life his parents planned for him, Chris rechristens himself "Alexander Supertramp" and heads west in his beaten-up automobile until it no longer runs, at which point he takes up hitchhiking. The goal on the horizon? Alaska. By hook or by crook -- but without his limited cash, which he symbolically sets aflame -- Chris/Alexander determines to make it to his personal promised land, with stops along the way to experience America and its people. These adventures include a kayak trip down dangerous rapids, a gig working in a grain mill, extended stays with a hippie couple and a kindly old widower -- and enough cold, hunger, and exhaustion to leave him emotionally defeated more than once. Meanwhile, his parents (William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden) and sister (Jena Malone) haven't received so much as a postcard from him, and begin to fear the worst. Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder composed the contemplative soundtrack. Derek Armstrong, Rovi
Finally! A mvoie as well done as the book was excellent
Aug 1, 2010
WONDERFUL--READ THE BOOK AND WATCHED FILM--GREAT COMPANION PIECES--AND HELPFUL IN MAKING COMPARISONS AND CRITIQUES.
Sep 11, 2008
follow your heart
this is a GREAT movie. it is an accuratly true story about this young man who looks for truth, freedom, and simple beauty in nature. the movie is popcorned with real people acting, so the movie FEELS real as a whole. It's humorous, thought- provoking, and inspiring. It has many beautiful shots and a soulful soundtrack mostly by eddie vedder. WATCH IT, YOU WILL LIKE IT
Apr 6, 2008
2007's most under appreciated film
I have but one complaint about Sean Penn's brilliant adaptation of Jon Krakauer's gripping saga of wanderlust, incredibly poor judgment, and death in Alaska: too much Eddie Vedder for my taste. However, that wasn't enough to detract from drinking in the well-crafted journey of real-life eccentric loaner Chris McCandless.
Emil Hirsch's charm and devil-may-care grin allowed me to get over my frustration with his character's obsessive "death wish" and simply ride along with him. And what a ride it was?I'm convinced Sean Penn channeled, to some extent, the visual aesthetic of Terrence Malick with an attention to detail, and nature as bystander, typical of the latter director's own films. Eric Gautier's cinematography is lush and pensive and brings to life the physical realities McCandless must have sought out and escape into.
The cast is splendid. Mr. Penn should be praised for bringing a very decent performance out of Vince Vaughn. (Werner Herzog managed the same feat casting a credible Steve Zahn in "Rescue Dawn". Another under appreciated 2007 biopic.) As Carine McCandless, Jena Malone does a terrific job of narrating the film through letters written by her brother, always a one-way communiqué. While the entire cast is praise worthy the relationship between McCandless and the elderly Ron Franz, played by Hal Holbrook, and then Jan Burres, played by Catherine Keener, brought to life an even deeper sense of heartbreak to the Into the Wild story?soliciting tears without becoming maudlin. I found myself drawn to the characters McCandless collected during his travels even envying the self-reliance and ingenuity of Slab City?an existence a far cry from my own.
It was unfortunate to see Sean Penn shunned by the Oscars (SAG got it right) but I have a theory that the Academy is terrified of real-life loaners perishing in Alaska, rather than an aversion to his adaptation of an equally compelling book.