Into the Wild

wow, i wish i had seen this in theaters.

i’m not even really sure where to begin. the acting was fantastic, the scenery was breathtaking, the story was true, the music was perfect, and the cinematography blended into the plot well enough to stay hidden. well done, sean penn.

i think i’ll start with the soundtrack, which i actually already heard a few months ago! LINK. putting images to vedder’s music was a completely different auditory experience, though, and i hope other films make use of this man’s genius. here’s “hard sun” along with scenes from the film:

and not to detract from the gravitas of the story, but DAMN, EMILE HIRSCH IS (A) FINE (ACTOR). no, but seriously. he definitely pulled a tom hanks in this one and became the role, which is more evident as the story progresses and he becomes tattered and withered, both physically and emotionally. i can’t even begin to think how that would affect an actor, and with hirsch being so young, this role will probably stay with him for a long time. it’s an intense way to sort of get your acting career off to a running start.

the supporting roles brought out a new facet from each actor, too. catherine keener, as a mother to someone who seemed to want to trade his in, contrasted beautifully with marcia gay harden’s waspy high expectations. jena malone, who always seems to inject sexual tension into every scene she’s in (case in point, i initially thought that her character was christopher mccandless’ girlfriend, not his sister. weird.), narrated the film gracefully. and vince vaughn! everyone’s fave wedding crasher! i mean, he was my favorite. but anyway, into the wild was to him what stranger than fiction was to will ferrell or little miss sunshine was to steve carell: a chance to show your impressive serious side. granted, vaughn’s character was jolly, but i don’t think vaughn can ever eliminate the jolly. he can, however, set aside the perv for a second and bring out a respectable man. impressive.

i don’t want to say much more about the film. this is one you just have to see.

i will say, though, that it makes you think pretty hard about what you have. christopher mccandless, or alexander supertramp, gave up his life of luxury to find himself in the wild. there are arguments out there that martyr him, and there are arguments that peg him as an attention-hogging crazy. truth be told, his death was a shame, because it could have been prevented, but i don’t think it’s fair to say that he brought it upon himself or that it’s his fault or anything like that. i do think that some people connect themselves to a higher purpose, and religion has nothing to do with it. and despite the spoils of modern life, they yearn for a different kind of satisfaction. somehow, i think this man was satisfied with his life, and i applaud him for attaining it.