American in Spain

Into The Wild

February 29, 2008

into the wild - nelle terre selvaggeLast night, I felt like watching a movie. I had four or five to choose from. I wasn't familiar with any of them by name, so I looked the first one up on IMDB to get a plot synopsis, see the actors, and get a feel for the general quality of the film. I was amazed that a film I hadn't heard of had an 8.3 rating on IMDB. That's huge. The IMDB rating system seems to be pretty good, in general. The movie is called Into The Wild. The plot synopsis on IMDB is nice and succinct, so I'll borrow it:

Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University in 1992, 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.

My blogroll-mate, Simon, had gotten me a little down yesterday about the general quality of movies coming out of Hollywood and winning Oscars. I had been thinking, "It sure has been a long time since I really enjoyed a movie.", and that same evening, watching Into The Wild, I spent the entire movie wishing that it would never end. The scenery, the character development, the editing...everything was superb! Sean Penn, the director, needs to stay on that side of the camera. And the lead actor, Emile Hirsch, who was the bumbling teenage protagonist of The Girl Next Door, turns out to be an absolutely phenomenal actor.

About halfway through the movie, I realized that the soundtrack was outstanding, searched for it, and began downloading it. The download finished before the movie did. If you've ever liked anything that Eddie Vedder has done, then I highly recommend the soundtrack. Think "Eddie Vedder does acoustic Springsteen-like album".

I've seen three of the five nominees for Best Picture last year, No Country For Old Men, Atonement, and Juno, and Into The Wild beats them all, hands down, in my opinion. I see that it only got two nominations, Hal Holbrook, who was amazing, for Best Supporting Actor, and Best Editing.

Here's a link to the trailer, but I think I enjoyed the movie even more coming from complete ignorance of the story. I had no idea what the protagonist would do next, and the adventurous plot was enhanced because of it.

So go see this movie. Best movie I've seen from 2007.