After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life. Written by
Sean Penn waited 10 years to make the film to make sure he had the approval from the McCandless family. See more »
During the graduation scene, there is a brief shot of an Emory official straightening the black tassels on a couple of graduates' mortarboards. In all other shots, every student is wearing a gold tassel. See more »
I've never posted a comment regarding a movie but feel compelled to after attending a screening of Into The Wild at the Toronto Film Festival last night. I won't speak to story here as it's covered in the other comments.
This is a movie of real beauty. It made me cry. I felt moved in a way that happens very rarely. It was an inspiration.
The feelings it evoked were all based on the power of the acting and the writing. The words were real and human. The relationships seemed real and human. This may not seem like a great feat - but I consider it a true rarity. It didn't feel calculated and artificial, like so many movies (read: Crash - but I'm not here to bash that...). It was very organic, natural and (I can't say it enough) just beautiful. Cripes, it's making me sound like a hippie, for heaven's sake. This for me was Penn's best work since Indian Runner.
What it reminded me of...
Terence Malik - Herzog? - in a strange way Cassavettes? - Hal Ashby
(more Coming Home than Harold & Maude...) - even a bit of Ken Loach
Ruby in Paradise - Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore - Five Easy Pieces
... but when I list those it's not because of plot similarities (though there are some) or style (although I think you can definitely see the influence of some great films) - it's again because of the heart of it. I heard a few people at the screening comment that the film was "too long" but I don't agree. I think exploring a journey of this magnitude required visiting all of the people he touched and taking the time to see the land.
Hal Holbrook was just perfect, as was the cast as a whole, and I think Emile Hirsch is really going places - he was fantastic and he owned the role. Eddie Vedder's music worked perfectly as well - not distracting or quirky - just a part of the whole.
The film received a standing ovation and quite a few tears were shed. Magic.
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