Directed by the steady and assured hands of Sean Penn, Into The Wild is a remarkable road trip film starring Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless. It tells the true story of McCandless as he sets across a journey of self discovery out into the wilderness, meeting a whole host of characters along the way, including a memorable encounter with an old man, played by Hal Holbrook. It is an adventure film filled with some of the most beautiful cinematography you will ever find on film.
He is joined by an excellent supporting cast including then-unknown Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden and Hal Holbrook. However, it is Holbrook who provides the most memorable supporting performance. He plays Ron Franz, an elderly man who has lost everything in his life and decides to live the remainder of it alone in his house. However, his meeting with McCandless drastically changes both of their lives forever.
It should be noted with much appreciation the way Sean Penn directs this film. He is so assured and confident that it makes one truly appreciate every scene in this film without ever feeling bored or overwhelmed. He takes great care with the subject matter and delivers a heartwarming and hypnotic film. It is a film that takes the viewer along for the voyage. Penn is the one who makes it all seem effortless. A sign of a filmmaker who is completely in tune with his art and not afraid to take calculated risks.
One should not think of Into The Wild as an ordinary film. It is so much more. It is a film of self-discovery combined with moments of true anguish and pain. A film that is filled with magnificent and poetic scenes of nature's beauty. A film that sends many messages to the viewer without being preachy. I enjoy revisiting this film as it has the power to meditate. I cannot fully explain how it affects me like that but it just does. Into The Wild is a film that lingers in the mind long after the credits role. A mark of a truly great cinematic experience.
- Emile Hirsch (as Christopher McCandless)
- Hal Holbrook (as Ron Franz)
2 hours and 28 minutes
Adventure / Biography / Drama