Saturday, April 19, 2008

Into the Wild (2007) R - 4½ Stars

I really enjoyed this movie. It's based on the true life story of Christopher McCandless, a 22 year old young well educated man, who donates his money to charity, and hitchhikes across America to meet it's people and follow a spiritual communion with nature. His destination - Alaska.

After graduating college with honors, Christopher (Emile Hirsch) walked away from his routine and a family he felt disconnected from to embark on a journey into the wild for the adventure of his life. He leaves the wheat fields of South Dakota, renames himself "Alexander Supertramp", and hits the roads of uncertainty answering his call of the wild.

He symbolically burns his life savings and when his beat up car finally can go no further, he hitchhikes to the rest of his goal. Along the way he encounters a series of many colorful characters from the very edges of American society. He first hooks up with a hippy couple, Jan Burres (Catherine Keener) and Rainey (Brian Dierker), then takes a ride down the wild rapids of the Colorado River, and temporally finds employment with a grain dealer Wayne Westerberger (Vince Vaughn). He told his sister that, "I don't need money; it makes people cautious." So when he meets a beautiful girl Tracy (Kristen Stewart) who wants to sleep with him, he gently declines as he thinks love makes people cautious too.

Ron Franz (Hal Holbrook), a retired military man, first looks at Christopher as a wild non confirming young adult. But too later his life will be changed when Christopher shows him that taking risks in life is what living is all about. It is these people who helped shaped his understanding of life and in turn changed him as well.

Christopher McCandless lived 113 days in the wild and died in September 1992, in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness near Denali National Park. It's sad to see that someone so full of life and living symbiotically with nature would eventually find his death from starvation and eating toxic berries.

2007 - Into the Wild - American Film Institute - Best Picture
2007 - Into the Wild - Golden Globe - Best Original Song
2007 - Into the Wild - National Board of Review - Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor

Paramount Vantage
Director: Sean Penn
Writer: Sean Penn
Producers: William Pohlad, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad
I viewed 1/08

2 comments:

patrick said...

McCandless's story is tragic, but then so many people have benefited from hearing it... a couple of years of hitchhiking and camping made a story that now challenges thousands (millions?) of people to reexamine their lives

Layrayski said...

This sounds like a movie I would like. Thanks!