“ Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Sean Penn / Actors: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener ... / DVD released 2008-03-10 at Paramount Home Entertainment (UK) / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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Sean Penn's film Into the wild is more than just a story of a tear away. Following the life of the young man the audience really get sucked into his character. Emotions are brought up early on as it is described why the young man leaves home. The audience then get an insight into the true story of the young man.
The brilliant mix of simple cinematography and beautiful storytelling gives the audience
a film that is not easily forgotten. Through the story the audience learns more about the young mans life and how the journey that he undertakes affects his spiritually and mentally. Throwing in memorable characters along the way shows the audience how human contact affects even the most lonely of us.
Not only does this film explore the deep canyons of the human psyche but also shows the audience what it means to be human, whilst telling a fascinating and highly visual story along the way.
Excellent film definitely worth a watch.
Into the wild is a film documenting in part the true life story of a young man named Christopher McCandless.
The film which is directed by Sean Penn, is an adaption of the book by Jon Krakauer and is one of the most interesting films I have watched in a long time! I find it very inspiring and captivating! It moves you and makes you take a look inside at your own dreams and life goals.
The film focuses on Christopher McCandless who nicknames himself Alexander Supertramp, and his adventures and passion for exploring.
After graduating, he makes the decision to abandon the conventional path of getting a stable job, and living in society and gets rid of his possessions through donation to charity, abandoning his car and burning the remainder of his cash.
He sets out on his adventure which initially involves hitchhiking and working in temporary places whilst he makes his journey to Alaska. Throughout this journey you see how he is withdrawn from society, how he doesn't fit in and how he is focused on his goal. Whilst watching the film one feels personally involved and feels for the character.
On his explorations he encounters obstacles which are challenging for him to overcome, yet he manages. You see his struggle to survive, and his determination to carry out his dreams.
What inspires me most about this film is how this young man has given up everything, and followed his dreams, which ultimately ended in his death.
In a way Alexander Supertramp has done what several of us only dream of and don't have the courage to do, to live life naturally, in the wild, with nothing but yourself and the natural surroundings.
On another viewpoint, the film also highlights the dangers of such a lifestyle, and how living in the wild is not as simple as it may seem, that it is a tough and difficult life where one has to look after and provide for oneself.
Into The Wild is a thought provoking film based on the true story of a young man who escaped the boring expectations of most young twentysomethings his parents had by walking off without announcing it into the wilderness to just explore. Sean Penn's excellently directed film really makes you think about the importance of life and with a great soundtrack and some stunning camera work it's that sort of film that will have you staring at the screen, riveted by the events taking place.
Christopher McCandless is a good scholar with rich parents who want him to 'succeed'. Upon graduation, he makes the decision to turn down the Harvard offer he has and just walk away from his life, embracing nature. The film is told from his viewpoint as well as that of his little sister, the voiceovers thoughtful and contemplative. We see Christopher, or rather Alexander Supertramp as his adopted name, as he sits completely alone in a bus in the middle of nowhere, surviving off the land, and the film then gives us the events leading up to how he got there by splitting things into chapters and focusing on the people he meets along his amazing journey.
What is interesting about this is the fact that it's pitched as having a series of encounters where people and their ways of living have affected how Alexander then carries on living, but it actually ends up being more about how he affects them. At each juncture, he forges important relationships with his new friends, and the little miniplots involving them are endearing to the point where you clearly remember the characters long after they're gone. Perhaps the most powerful of these is from Hal Holbrook, who plays an elderly man who is the last of his family, and is so moved by Alexander's way of living life that he seeks to 'adopt' him as the son he never had. As with each element and meeting, Alexander moves along, and it's almost as if these encounters don't have as much influence on him as he has on them.
It sort of proves to him that people are what is important, not money and things. Living life, embracing nature, seeing beautiful sights, exploring and making friends - these are the amazing about our world and our lives, and Sean Penn makes sure we're aware of this. He directs Emile Hirsch as Alexander with what seems like the enjoyment a director might get from knowing he's got exactly the right person for the role, and he'd be right. Hirsch gives an excellent performance, and you really feel comfortable in the character's presence and wishing that you'd met him yourself. We get the full range of emotions, from the angry person trying to work out why he should follow the life his parents have mapped out for him, to the joy he encounters with some of those he meets, the sympathy he shows for a struggling couple, the maturity with a young girl who has a crush on him, the camaradery and fun with a farmer on the wrong side of the law, right up to the anguish, pain and suffering he experiences on his own in the bus.
Adding to the mood and feel of the film is an excellent soundtrack. It's not often that a soundtrack stands out and makes you want to know who's singing what, but Eddie Vedder's instantly recognisable voice plays a huge part, with one song even getting a Golden Globe for Best Song. It adds to the mood, with the right style of tune being played at the right moments, accompanying Alexander on his journey. Top stuff.
But ultimately the film makes you think about what you're doing with your life. Why do we work and work and work to make money which goes to someone else or can buy material things? We often miss out on the wonderful nature that can be right on our doorstep, and how spending time with our friends and family should take precedence, when work keeps us late and makes us tired, and we have to plan everything around a small chunk of time in the year when we are 'allowed' to take some holiday. Yet I would feel a bit lost without the material possessions I have become accustomed to, from my laptop to my radio, the TV, books, a comfy warm bed and the convenience of takeaway! Perhaps a healthy balance between the two would be ideal, but what Penn manages to do is make you think that this is more of an ideal than the capitalist tendencies of money making we seem to be obsessed with. Who knows?
Great film, and one that really made me think a lot about what my priorities are. Penn directs with excellence, as does Hirshc with his acting and Vedder with his music. The screenplay and camera work add impact and the overall result is a really thought provoking film that'll have you contemplating quite a lot. There are slow moments, and let's be honest, this is no action film by any means and you have to stay focused and concentrate. I can, however, highly recommend watching it - I know I'll probably watch it again at some point. Recommended.
RuN-TiMe - 148 minutes
Genre- Based on a true story
In the seventies there was a singer called Nick Drake, who committed suicide in his early twenties, his melancholic acoustic work an essential LP in student's collections, the middle-class kid who died of self-perpetuating angst through an overdoes of anti-depressants. None of his five albums had sold 5000 copies by the time of the next decade and yet today he is in the top 50 most influential English artists of all time some 50 years after his birth. Even today there are people that weren't even born when he took his own life who will flock to his grave to light a candle.
'Into the Wild' explores those same themes of middle-class anxieties in kids who seem to have it all as far as family background, looks and talent go yet are still intrinsically miserable and lost, seeking pure perfection that can never be, expecting the best of this world and its people and always disappointed. Just as Drake and the likes of Side Barret retreated into there music to escape that growing darkness, this film tells the true to life story of Chris McCandless, who decided to tame his mania by going back to nature, descending deeper and deeper into the Alaskan wilderness to fight his demons, tragically found dead from starvation some 100 days after he slung his backpack over his shoulder and headed into nowhere with unsuitable supplies and attire. It is unclear whether it was a one-way ticket or not but he knew was ill-equipped to survive An Alaskan Autumn and then winter with only a handbook about edible woodland food and survival techniques for food. Why middle-class people seem to be more manic in their music choice and film narratives is a matter of debate, although we all know we shouldn't think about bad things for too long alone or we enter the end game as the mind turns on itself through paranoia and so feeds that debilitating anxiety the thinkers do. If you haven't been there yet you will one day as the pressures of mortgages and bills grind you down. This films exaggeratingly high ranking and votes on the IMDB would suggest it resonated with that educated and anxious demographic.
Emile Hirsch - Christopher McCandless / "Alexander Supertramp"
Marcia Gay Harden - Billie McCandless
William Hurt - Walt McCandless
Jena Malone - Carine McCandless
Catherine Keener - Jan Burres
Brian H. Dierker - as Rainey
Vince Vaughn - Wayne Westerberg
Zach Galifianakis - Kevin
Kristen Stewart - Tracy Tatro
Hal Holbrook - Ron Franz
In 1990 Emory University graduate Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) decided to do a bit of traveling before his next big life decision, his father Walt( William Hurt) keen on him taking a further law degree whilst mum Billie (Marcia Gay Harden) and his kid sister Carrie (Jena Malone) just want him to be happy. Although a strong student and great at sports he is an introverted guy and knows his own mind. But he feels trapped by his parent's affluent and traditional capitalist lifestyle and so decides to go traveling to find the real Chris McCandless. He does not want to end up like them.
Setting out in his old rusting car for his adventure he rips up his credit cards and gives his college fund to charity, all this behind his parents and sisters back. As weeks turn to months on his odyssey around America his parents get wise to the possibility he hasn't gone to study law, now not answering their letters or phone calls, absent from his father's plans without leave. When the family find out he has given away the 24 grand the anxiety levels begin to rise and the police are involved, this no longer just a middle-class rebellion.
He soon loses his car in Arizona to a flash flood and so needs money to buy a new one, finding a job on the Mid-West plains cutting maize in a giant combine harvester, amiable boss Wayne Westerberg (Vince Vaughn) more than happy to have the kid on his team as beer is drank and yarns are told, Chris relaxing a little and feeling more at home in the wilds he loves so much.
After a year on the road and an illegal rafting trip into Mexico that sees him end up homeless in Los Angeles and renaming himself 'Alexander Supertramp', he joins up with hippy couple Jan Burres (Catherine Keener) and Rainey (Brian H. Dierker) and heads north to festival and camp for the summer, where he meets 16-year-old Tracey (Kristen Stewart), who has a crush him, Chris some 8 years her senior. Chris intends to build up his strength in the summer with his friends and then spend a whole year in the wilderness of Alaska and so no time for minors. His final human contact is an old retired man in Arizona, Ron Franz (Hal Holbrook), who take shim in for a bit as he hones his skills to survive in the great blue yonder, Ron, concerned the boy is nowhere near enough equipped for it, only a book about edible seeds and a hunting rifles his means to eat.
With Sean Penn directing you knew this was going to be intense and soulful, a method actor who directs method movies. Adpated well from the book of the same name by author John Krakauer (1996) the independent film awards loved this and it was nominated across the board, bar the biggest events, a low budget indie that grabbed and clawed at something in America's intelligent film going public. The soundtrack and stunning cinema photography by Eric Gaultier (Motorcycle Diaries) keeps you involved if the melancholy doesn't when the film sags badly in the middle, 'Guaranteed' by Eddy Vedder winning a Golden Globe for best song. It's certainly pretentious, especially the layered commentary by his sister on his absence, somewhat irritating throughout, and the film way too long at 150 minutes for that. But it grabs you in ways you didn't expect and helped by Hirsch's thorough lead turn it's a movie that sneaks up on you as you grow into it and won't let go, like the freedom of the road did to our traveler. I have traveled a lot and .can sympathize with that emancipated feeling and ewmotion..
I can't remember the name of the film but this reminds me of the one where the old boy sets out to drive to his brothers on his motorized lawnmower, something about that journey that gets you back in touch with your own country that gets to your soul. In many ways this is the inversion of Gus Van Zant's quirky indie film called 'Gerry', where two suburban twentysomethings get lost in the desert after losing their way on a hiking trip, the fish very much out of water. But the moral of the story must be to always let your mom know where you are at the holidays or on your travels because they do worry; however much you think you don't get on...
The Hollywood reporter - " Penn opts for epic proportions and clutters his narrative with gimmicks. For the most part, it works. What's missing is the perspective and insight that would illuminated the inner dimensions of a driven young man who is preachy and downright irritating".
Rolling Stone Magazine - " Penn, in tandem with the superb cinematographer Eric Gautier (The Motorcycle Diaries), captures the majesty and terror of the wilderness in ways that make you catch your breath".
The Baltimore Sun - "A genuine odyssey: a journey to self-knowledge".
Entertainment Weekly - "The beauty of Into the Wild, which Penn has written and directed with magnificent precision and imaginative grace, is that what Christopher is running from is never as important as what he's running TO".
Imdb.com- 8.2 out of 10 (104, 567 votes)
Rottentomatos.com - 84% approval rating
Metacritic.com - 73% approval rating
Leonard Maltins Film Year Book -3.5/4
Radio times Film Year Book - 4/5
Every time I got some Amazon vouchers for some reason or another, I went onto my Amazon Wish List and every time saw I had a film there called 'Into The Wild'. For some reason, I never knew why it was in my wish list, and I never brought it, until now.
That being said I had not heard anything about this film from what I can remember before sitting down to watch it last night. I was not sure what to expect but for some reason, I felt like I was going to be watching a good movie.
Based on a true story, the film follows Chris McCandless who has just graduated from Uni (or college) with fantastic grades and really could do whatever he wants to do in life. His parents are very wealthy, and his childhood has not been the most fun it could have been so he decides to embark on an adventure. He decides to get rid of everything he owns and go on a trip to Alaska where he plans to live in the wild. Along the way he meets many other travellers and many other people who are all touched by Chris and his passion for life, and who all help Chris get to Alaska.
Emile Hirsch- Chris McCandless
Marcia Gay Harden- Billie McCandless
William Hurt- Walt McCandless
Jena Malone- Carine McCandless
Kristen Stewart- Tracy Tatro
Vince Vaughn- Wayne Westerberg
From the first 10 minutes I was hooked, the film really does capture your attention and I think you really want to be taken along the journey that Chris is taking, and you should really just sit back and let yourself be taken along for the ride. I loved the way that you could really feel how much Chris touched the people's lives that he met and you get to see how much passion for life and how much passion he really does have inside of him, and you get to feel every moment along with him.
Like I said in the plot section of the review, the film is based or inspired by the true story of a young man called Chris McCandless, and I have heard that there is a book with the same name as well which I think I will go and check out after seeing this film even knowing what happens in the end now.
For me there is really only two cast members to talk about and that is the lead character of Chris played by Emile Hirsch. I have seen Hirsch in a few films before, one of them I watched by accident when I was very young and have forever been damaged by what I watched. Hirsch in this film is absolutely fantastic, I am amazed this film wasn't really talked about when it was released and it wasn't at least up for an Oscar, mainly due to his brilliant acting in the film. To describe his performance in this movie, I would even think of comparing it to Tom Hanks' in the film Castaway, Hirsch is assisted by some quite big names, but all in all, he holds the movie on his shoulders more so than I think most actors would in general films and I think he did really well. It also helps ladies that Hirsch is gorgeous, and throughout the film you see him getting buffer and buffer throughout.
Other actors in the movie include Jena Malone, her actual acting performance is very small, but she is the narrator throughout the movie and the emotion she conveys actually makes you believe she is Chris' sister and you can really feel all the pain she is feeling not knowing where her 'brother' is. Kristen Stewart aka that annoying talentless 'actress' from the Twilight saga makes an appearance as Chris' sort of love interest. She also attempts to sing in the movie, but like I've said before about her, my little finger has more personality than she does and her performance in this movie was just boring. Vince Vaughn is also very good and makes an appearance for a little bit, and Marcia Gay Harden is brilliant in the movie as Chris' mother, you can really see the anguish on her face throughout and she delivers a fantastic performance.
The name of the Director is splashed all over the cover of the DVD, but I didn't really make the connection because I thought I would have known if Sean Penn, the actor from the likes of Milk etc, Directed a movie. Apparently I was wrong, because it is Sean Penn and I am seriously amazed. This film was absolutely fantastic, his Direction of Hirsch and the rest of the cast was fabulous, the emotion he got the film to convey and the fact that this movie had everything, it was beautiful, the scenery was absolutely stunning, the film was very deep, adventurous and for me the best thing was it was so heart warming and touching. Really a thumbs up to Penn as this movie was stunning.
Usually if I notice the music really well in the movie, it tends to be a bad thing. With this film, you notice all of the music, for me it was quite quirky, but when the film is falling and starting to lose it's edge, the music lifts it back up and makes it brilliant. The music is very good and I believe someone called Eddie Vedder is behind most of it throughout the movie.
I started watching this movie at 11:00pm and by 1:00am I was starting to really struggle to keep my eyes open and had to turn it off. All in all the film is 142 minutes, so around 2 hours and 20 minutes so it is quite long and I think really about 30 minutes really could have been shaved off the movie, probably even more too get the same sort of feel and the same overall film that you get in the movie. Due to the length it did drag on in some places which ruined it by one star, but otherwise it was fabulous.
The film follows Chris on his trip across country and the scenery is just absolutely fantastic, you get gorgeous mountains, rivers, hills, animals and much, much more throughout the whole movie. The cinematography is some of the best that I've ever seen and I think if you are interested in film in any way you should give this movie a go just to see how beautiful it really is. As well as that of course the acting is fantastic and the film makes you feel so many emotions. I think if they had shaved off about 40 minutes then the movie would have been so much better and it would have been a definite 5 stars.
At the end of the movie they show you a picture of Chris McCandless and the likeness to Emile Hirsch is absolutely fantastic, they cast him brilliantly and I think it was brilliant on their part. That being said there are some problems with the movie, the ending really threw me off balance and I was not sure if I liked it until I thought about it for a little bit. As well as that the beginning is a little confusing, Jena Malone's character is not his date, it's his sister despite what it looks like. The film was so near perfect and I think with just a bit more thought behind what they put together it would have been.
Please give this movie ago; it will only cost you £2.99 from the likes of Play.com and Amazon.co.uk and it is very stunning, very emotional and very good.
(C) Kirsty 2010
Sean Penn has produced an exceptional portrayal of the short life of an exceptional young man.
Sean Penn has dramatised John Krakauers writings on the life of Chris McCandless in a very successful and sympathetic way.
Into the wild is the story of Chris McCandless, a young man of extremely developed and enviable ideals and moral standards high enough to live his life in line with them. The story follows Chris through a part of his life in which he left any traces of a conventional life style behind and went "tramping" around America. Culminating in what he continually referred to as his "Great Alaskan Adventure", where Chris planned to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness for a prolonged period of time - an adventure that Chris was never to return from.
Sean Penn owes much to his cast who all play each scene with the exact emotion required, and without over playing any part.
This really is an exceptional story and told exactly how it should be, all the while accompanied by an equally astounding soundtrack by Eddie Vedder.
Anyone who has read the book might be interested to hear there are some still shots of Chris from the camera he had whilst living in the bus at the end of the Stampede Trail.
"If you admit that human life can be ruled by reason then all possibility of life is destroyed."
Into the Wild is a drama film that is actually based on the true story of a young man named Christopher McCandless. It is also based on a book of the same name which was written by Jon Krakauer. The film was directed by Sean Penn. It received generally very positive reviews from film critics on release and was said to be one of the best movies of 2007. The film currently has a rating of 8.2/10 from 89,767 votes on IMDB.com and is placed at 140 on its all time top 250 films list.
The film is the the story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) who has just graduated from Emory university as a model student and athlete. He is from a wealthy family and background but once he has finished his education he has other plans. He decides to abandon his possessions and also give away his $24,000 savings to the Oxfam charity. He plans a life changing expedition to Alaska where he plans to live in the wild. The story is mainly narrated by his sister Carine McCandless who is played by Jena Malone. Along the way he meets many different characters who help to shape his beliefs and also help him along on his adventure. The film actually starts off in Alaska but is actually told in flashback showing how he got there.
I had heard about this film before watching but did not know much about the story of it. I had not read the book and I did not actually realise it was based on a true story until I got the DVD of the film and saw the outline of the movie on the back of the cover.
Whilst watching and even before you may seem to think it was slightly foolish of Chris to set out into the unknown (the wild) with little preparation and also a lack of supplies but he is also seen as an inspiration because he is seen as breaking away from the beliefs of modern society.
The acting is very good and Emile Hirsch plays the lead role in an effective and believable way and makes the role his own. He is ably assisted by the support cast which includes some weird and wonderful characters with the likes of Vince Vaughn and Kristen Stewart (for any Twlight fans) playing two of them. There is also a strong performance from Hal Holbrook who was nominated for an Oscar for his role.
It is a long film and is around 2 hours and a half hours in length but it has a gripping and engaging story which keeps you watching.The soundtrack goes well with the film and one particular song that stands out is Society by Eddie Vedder. The cinematography is also fantastic and there is some great imagery and scenery to admire in the film.
I would almost give this film 5 out of 5 stars but certain minor flaws means it gets a solid 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Directed by: Sean Penn
Written by Book:
Marcia Gay Harden
Music by Michael Brook
Release date: September 21, 2007
Running time: 148 minutes
This is a beautiful and skillful adaptation of a remarkable story. For anyone who has ever dreamt what it would be like to leave the material world behind and survive in the wilderness this is a must see. Emile Hirsch plays the lead character so sensitively and at times it plays like a documentary where many of the characters could be playing themelves. The film touches on many of the struggles of todays modern western world, money, education, career etc and one mans desire to escape it all, live with nature and find his true meaning of life. The superb acting, directing by Sean Penn and stunning scenery of Alaska is accompanied by gorgeous, mostly original music by Pearl Jam's lead singer Eddie Vedder. For all of these reasons and others it is a film you can watch over and over, so take yourself on this journey and you wont be disappointed. Follow your wildest dreams!
I have been wanting to watch this film for ages! In a few weeks I'm going on the holiday of a life time traveling round Canada. I am spending a week in the far North, seeing the Northern Lights and living in the wild, well almost. So this film is just what I need to get me in the mood for my trip!
Into the Wild came out back in 2007. The film is directed by the brilliant Sean Penn and is based on the book by Jon Krakauer. This is a true story which makes the film all the more interesting. The film stars Emile Hirsch and there are a few cameos from big stars. The film was nominated for two Oscars and picked up lots of other awards.
The film tells the story of a young man named Chris. Chris has just graduated from colledge and now wants to live his dream. He is sick of living in the fast pace life and wants to get away from it all and discover true happiness living in the wild in Alaska. The film starts with Chris already in Alaska but then the story jumps back in time to how he got there and the experiences he had on the way. The film shifts from Alaska back to his life leading upto it.
This is a magical film. It is wonderfully shot and the soundtrack is excellent. The beauty in this film is really magical and the way the music and the scenery come together can be quite moving.
The story itself is also very moving, a real voyage of discovery that I could happily relate to. I like the way the story jumps back on forth and as you watch it you gradually learn what is going on and how the main character has come to the conclussions he has.
I have not read the book this film was based on but have been told it is excellent and would really like to give it a try. If it is any where near as good as the film I would highly recommend it!
The film runs for 148 minutes which is quite a long time, but there is so much to enjoy in this film that the time really flew by. I could have quite happily sat there for another hour!
The film is rated as 15. There is some strong language and some nudity, but nothing really to offensive and I don't think that many people will be offended by much in this film.
The DVD itself has some nice features but nothing to amazing. Really you should buy this film for the movie itself and not for anything you get on the DVD.
Overall this is a truely magical film! I enjoyed it so much and will watch it again with out a doubt. One of the best films I've seen this year and one I would recommend to anyone! This is the time of film that will really strike a cord with many people and who knows, maybe it will inspire you to change your life! Magic!!
Into the wild was released in 2007 and is 148 minutes long. It is rated 15 due to some nudity and language. It was originally released to a select amount of theatres but after the amazing reviews, it went on to have a wide release and was nominated for a lot of awards.
Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless / "Alexander Supertramp"
Marcia Gay Harden as Billie McCandless
William Hurt as Walt McCandless
Jena Malone as Carine McCandless
Catherine Keener as Jan Burres
Vince Vaughn as Wayne Westerberg
Kristen Stewart as Tracy Tatro
Hal Holbrook as Ron Franz
Brian H. Dierker as Rainey
Zach Galifianakis as Kevin
Into the wild is based on the book by Jon Krakauer, that tells the story of Christopher McCandless and his true story (although how true the film made it, I don't know). Christopher has just graduated from a good university and has everything going for him. His parents are very financially stable and want the very best for their son. As Christopher looks around him, he realises that this isn't the life that he wants and decides that he is entitles to his own form of freedom. He destroys everything that is used as I.D...credit cards, drivers license and I.D card as well as donating all of his savings. The only thing he keeps is his car and a bag of clothes.
Christopher leaves his entire family, not telling them where he is going to pursue his dream of getting to Alaska to live in the wild. He drives so far but leaves his car so that he cannot be traced and continues on foot, taking on the name, Alexander Supertramp. Along the way, Christopher meets a variety of people who all live in some kind of way that he respects and desires. As his journey to Alaska continues, he finds it quite hard and emotional at times but doesn't want to rely on his new found friends. His family are really worried as he doesn't let them know where he is or how he is doing but he is determined to live out his dreams.
That is all I am going to say about the story because anything else will ruin it for everyone. The film does flit from Christopher on his journey and back to his family, giving the audience the full effect of what he did. The main themes are escapism and freedom and they are wonderfully portrayed. How many times have we all dreamt about where we would like to go or see and Christopher McCandless was someone who had enough courage and determination to follow his dreams. Everything he does before his trip adds to the emotion behind his decision.
Each part of the story ends up having a huge impact on his life and the other decisions that he makes. Each separate character that he encounters plats a big part in his life even the ones that he knows only for a few days. The range of characters and personalities are truly incredible and easy to connect with. I thought their individual parts were almost as good as the main story. To be more specific, Kristen Stewart (Now famous for the Twilight Saga) and Vince Vaughn were outstanding and this was a film that showed their diversity and talent.
Emile Hirsch needs some huge praise for this role and he brings so much talent, passion and emotion to Christopher's life and he was the perfect choice for the role. It must have been hard to play someone in a true story because I'm sure that he did everything he could to make the family proud. Hirsch made this character extremely believable. When you watch the film, you will realise that he also had to go through some drastic changes throughout like losing a lot of weight to fit the story.
The cinematography throughout his film is some of the most breath taking that I have ever seen. If you thought House of flying daggers was amazing then I'm sure you will like this one for the same reason. Christopher's journey shows us so much of America that isn't on any tourist route. The scenery is beautiful and after watching this, it was hard to disagree with his decision, even though it didn't have a nice ending. When he finally gets to Alaska, you realise that his journey had to be worth all of the hard work and pain.
The film is a but long for most people that I know who have seen it but I don't think the story would have been done as brilliantly any other way. This is a very emotional film but worth taking the time to sit down and enjoy it.
Normally a film like this wouldn't appeal to me, i had never heard of this before and knew nothing about what it was. But one day, whilst trying to do some work and wanting to have the TV on in the background, i stumbled upon the start of this film and decided to keep it on. I have to say, i did not get one bit of work finished.
Directed in 2007 by Sean Penn, this movie is based on the book written by Jon Krakauer, portraying the true life events of a young graduate named Christopher McCandless. His story is one of that he has everything going for him, he has just gained a degree at university, his parents are very financially secure and want their son to live the American dream. However, Christopher believes that everyone is entitled to their own freedom and so embarks on a harsh and unique journey to discover himself. He gives away his life savings and runs away from home, leaving his family, to travel to alaska and live in the wild. Whilst here, he encounters many people who have their own story and learns to experience the true beauty of the wilderness.
The ending in this for me has to be seen and would ruin the movie for anybody if i told you what happened, so i'll leave that bit out.
The acting in this was some of the best i have ever seen and was first-rate. Emile Hirsch made this his own and his dedication to the film simply stood out. He even lost 40 pounds to play the lead role! The supporting cast are just as marvellous and amazing as Hirsch, and add to the beauty of the film. They all bring something special and each character touches your heart is a seperate way. Another thing for me that added to the sadness and emotive is the choice of music. I think the majority,if not all of the songs, are by Eddie Vedder and from just listening to the sound of the music on its own, provokes a touching and affective feeling. Although i do not know a lot about Sean Penn being a director, his choice of scenery and the way it is portrayed makes you feel that we all need to go off and find our own sense of freedom.
To say i knew nothing about this film before i watched it,i was engaged throughout and immediately after, had to know about the story of this young confused, yet confident man. I have since read the book and read many articles on Christopher McCandless, and all this from watching something that i was never going to watch. This is a must see in my opinion and the quote towards the end of the feeling that stood out for me summed up the whole experience. 'Happiness is only real when shared'
Into the Wild is a 2007 Drama film directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch, and is based on the tragic true Story of Christopher McCandless
Christopher McCandless ( Emile Hirsch ) is a promising Student / Athlete at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. McCandless, in an act of defiant rejection of a materialistic, conventialist life, and of his parents ( William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden ) who he feels have betrayed him, Proceeds to destroy all of his credit cards, ID documents, donates all of his Savings and sets out on a cross country expedition in his well used but reliable Datsun.
After a Flash Flood destroys his vehicle, he abandons it and sets out on foot, burning through his ever dwindling cash supply, on his journey he works a variety of jobs to support himself, including a farm crew led by Wayne Westerberg ( Vince Vaughn ), but leaves after Westerberg is arrested.
Next he encounters the Colorado River and wishes to raft down it, however is blocked from doing so without a license, which may take years to receive, so he acquires a canoe and makes his way down the river illegally, ending up in Mexico
Returning back to the US, he continues his travels and encounters many different and interesting, but good people, with each meeting he has the opportunity to settle down, but each time decides to move on, until eventually he begins a quest to trek to Alaska, believing that only in the Wilds of Alaska can true knowledge be found, and so begins his journey that takes him on further adventures and tests his survival skills like never before.
Me and the wife settled down to this movie not knowing anything about it and just plucked it from our vast movie collection, nestled amongst various movies we haven't seen yet, surprised not to know anything about the movie, yet also excited to find out its a true story and not to know the outcome, which can happen so often with True Stories that almost ruin the experience as you end up knowing the outcome before the movie begins ( The Perfect Storm is a perfect example, also set in Alaska ironically )
The first thing we noticed was a incredible and beautiful cinematography, being a Sean Penn movie we knew we were in for a treat and were not disappointed, the scenery is certainly done justice in the vast expansive shots that dominate so much of the movie.
Emile Hirsch's performance is worthy of acclaim, he truly makes you believe that he is the character ( and upon further research, he really nailed it ) and William Hurt gives an outstanding background performance as the stern father who is forced to face his emotions.
I can't fault this movie for anything other than it does go on a little too long for my liking, I understand it was necessary from a storytelling perspective, but I do think it could have been cut by about 15 minutes, which would have been enough to grip the average viewer, without losing some as I'm sure has happened.
And without giving too much away about the ending, both me and my wife were a little thrown off by it and certainly if you don't know the story of McCandless and want to watch the movie, I would resist the urge to read up on him as it may spoil your enjoyment of the movie and dampen your desire to reach the end of the movie.
I first became interested in watching Into the Wild due to the fact that the guy the movie is based on, Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) went to the same university as I did in the US. Although the university he went to played an extremely minor role in this film, I'm still so glad I watched it as I found this movie to be extremely inspirational.
Into the Wild is based on a true story about a young man whose parents wanted to give him everything he needed for a successful life but who decided to walk away and choose freedom instead. Christopher had just graduated with a good degree and whose parents were offering to pay for him to go to law school. However, he decided to hit the road instead, giving every penny in his savings account ($24,000) to charity before leaving.
Christopher travelled the country before heading up to try to survive in the wilderness in Alaska. Along the way he meets a cast of weird and wonderful characters, almost all of whom are nice to him and try to help him out.
Christopher is a naive young man who has been sheltered by his family his whole life, and he travels without taking proper care of himself - for example he doesn't take warm clothes with him when he goes to Alaska but people give him what he needs along the way. He also pulls crazy stunts like taking a kayak out on a raging river when it was clearly unsafe to do so.
This film has been criticised for portraying Christopher as a hero when in fact he was irresponsible and silly. I can definitely see some merit in this point of view, but I do think that Christopher was very brave and, even though he was unprepared for his adventure, there is something to be said for believing that if you try to do something the universe will provide for you. I also think there is a lot to admire in someone who is willing to risk his life to live the way he believes is right. No, he didn't have proper survivalist skills, but that's not the point. What he had was conviction. Whether this was enough or not is something I'm not going to tell you - you'll have to watch the film yourself.
This film was directed by Sean Penn which put me off at first but I shouldn't have let it. He does an excellent job here. The soundtrack is full of original songs by Eddie Vedder that go very well with the beauty and ruggedness of the scenery in the film. There are some big names in this film - Vince Vaughn, William Hurt, and Catherine Keener to name a few. Kristen Stewart plays a love interest for Christopher - perhaps this will tempt some of her Twilight fans to watch this film.
This movie tends to provoke strong responses in those that watch it. Either people love it for the reasons I've mentioned or they hate it and consider Christopher a selfish brat. I urge you to watch this and make up your mind yourself - and even if you end up disliking it you will certainly benefit from the beautiful scenery that unfolds as Christopher travels around America.
This movie is the one of best I have seen. It was recommended to me by a friend at work and as she was so enthusiastic I was convinced enough to go to Play.com and buy it - as it is the same price as getting it from Blockbusters, and it was definitely worth the money.
The film follows the real life of Chris McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch (who I think is really underrated), as he finishes college and starts on his adventure of leaving the norms of society to live alone in Alaska. Throughout the film Chris meets various characters from different walks of life and shares a variety of experiences and bonds with each of them. Including Catherine Keener who plays Jan Burres, one half of a hippy couple; with Vince Vaughn who plays Wayne Westerberg a fun loving farmer; and Hal Holbrook who plays Ron Franz, an old widower in California and of course his own family who include Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt and Jena Malone. The cast, directed by Sean Penn, is a fantastic one which brings to life each dimension of this story.
The key delight in this movie is seeing how one person can experience nature and people and know real wonders without much in their back pocket. There are moments of comparison where the constraints of society conflict with the freedom of living without the demands of society.
Chris learns how to cope living in the wild without necessaries that we consider basic. The adventure is admirable and exciting, scary and truly awe-inspiring. Every now and again I would remember that this film is based on the real life experiences of making all the more dramatic.
The soundtrack compliments the drama, excitement and emotion of this fantastic movie and is full of great new tunes and old classics. To match the quality of the script, the cinematography was certainly up to scratch. To travel from the East to West Coast Chris visits some of the most stunning scenic points in America. The camera manages to capture the vastness and isolation with the joy and power of nature.
I am sorry I may have not gone into detail of this great character which is so well represented by Emile Hirsch, but I think so much of it is lost with a description and needs to be fully appreciated by watching this captivating film. I would put it as a cross between a David Attenborough documentary and the classic film Stand By Me.
Into the Wild is a film from actor turned director Sean Penn and tells the true story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hersch) who turns his back on his life with which he cannot connect, gives away any money and possessions he has, and heads to Alaska. The film tells his tale and looks at the various adventures and characters he encounters on the way.
Into the Wild, based on the book of the same name written by Jon Krakauer, opens with McCandless graduating from college in the US as his parents look on. Through various flashbacks and a voiceover from his sister Carine (Jena Malone) we become aware that his home life was far from perfect, in particular the bitter relationship between his parents (played by William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden). This appears to be the prime motivation to leave behind his life, including his college savings which he gives to charity, and literally head off into the wild.
Although his ultimate goal is the wilderness of Alaska, McCandless' journey takes him across North America, where he meets a range of characters whom he meets along the way and the way in which he effects them is a key theme of the film. The film itself is put together in a non-linear fashion, with the story moving from his time in Alaska as he struggles to survive in the wild, his prior family life and the problems he has here, and his various journeys across America and the characters he meets.
Although the film is based on a true story, elements of this have been fictionalised for reasons that will become apparent when you watch it.
Into the Wild tells a truly remarkable story, and manages to do it justice. The fact Sean Penn reportedly waited 10 years before making the film in order to get permission from the McCandless family (a brave decision on their part - they are not portrayed in an exactly glowing light) suggests that this might be a bit of a pet project for the director. Its not hard to see why the story would appeal.
Dealing with the issue of escaping it all, or wanderlust, it approaches a desire that lives strongly within many of us. Personally, I often stare out the window of my office thinking about the places in the world I would like to escape to. The difference being that McCandless has the balls to go out and do it. Driven by a seemingly deep sense of dissatisfaction with his life, especially the relationship between his parents, and a personal eccentricity, I was never left questioning the motivations behind his decision to give away his life savings and leave it all behind. I found this belief is a crucial foundation to my own enjoyment of the film.
The non-linear plotting of the film is handled particularly well, with each segment (family, travels and the wilderness) offering something different and intriguing, and each informing the other. Of particular note is the relationships that McCandless builds on his travels up and down America. Often only cameos from relatively famous actors and actresses, these incidents provide some of the films most touching moments and provide a deep link to the main protagonist himself as you witness how his almost naive one-minded drive to get to Alaska leads the people he encounters to reflect on their own lives. Whether it be Kristen Stewart's (pre-Twilight) waif like and love-lorn teenager, Catherine Keener and Brian Dierker's hippy couple, Vince Vaughn's crop harvesting gang leader or Hal Holbrooke's lonely elderly man, these characters and the way McCandless interacts with them provide the heart of the film.
This is in no small part to the acting talents of Hirsch, who inhabits the role of McCandless to perfection. Coming across as both friendly and principled as well as a driven and often conflicted, Hirsch is able to make his character, and the extraordinary journey he undertakes, believable, something that would not be true from the simple fact that its based on a true story.
I realise that I often go on about scenery and cinematography in my film reviews, but you cannot watch Into the Wild and not talk about the simply beautiful landscapes on show. These are without doubt a central foundation of the films, and purposefully so. The Alaskan landscapes alone give you a sense of what McCandless is striving for on his seemingly crazy journey.
Of the few criticisms I have, one would be the occasional quirky camera techniques Penn employs. The sporadic use of rapid camera shifts between characters, with the actors looking directly into the camera, jolt with the overall feel of the film. Similarly, although the characters I mention above are well illustrated and form an integral part of the film, others seem more superfluous (especially the Danish couple met on the river) and serve to do little other than drive up the running time.
Overall though, the film is a moving and beautiful essay of one man and his struggles. I would recommend it to most people, although I would say you should give it the time it deserves. Its not a quick action film to be watched in a hurry, rather I would say you should put an afternoon or evening aside to really appreciate the feel of the film. This way you get the proper chance to interact with the protagonist as the film moves towards its emotional finale.
Director: Sean Penn
Running time: 148 mins
Available on DVD and Blu-ray (may only be on import from the US)