STARRING: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Brian H. Dierker, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart and Hal Holbrook
EARNED (Worldwide): $56.2m
AWARDS: Golden Globe for Best Song
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.
A young man named Christopher McCandless decides to venture out to explore the beauty of the wild after graduating from University. He leaves for his adventure giving away his entire savings to charity and without telling his family where he is going. McCandless travels through the wilderness, seeking sense of purpose that he’s been yearning for and he comes across a few people along the way as he journeys towards Alaska.
I was late to the party in watching Into The Wild but I’m glad that I did, while it wouldn’t be my all-time favourite film like some people, mainly due to the protagonist, you can’t deny that it’s a terrifically crafted film by Sean Penn with his direction and I’m surprised that the film wasn’t nominated at the Oscars for Best Cinematography as some of the shots here are breathtaking. The film is for those willing to invest on the journey for the long haul with the running time coming to around two and a half hours long as we follow Christopher trekking to Alaska and the people he encounters, from hippy couple Rainey and Jan, to friendly farmer Wayne to finally old man Ron. The acting is terrific across the board here, from Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless, especially in the final scenes of him out in the Alaskan wilderness and Hal Halbrook quite literally broke my heart in this film as Ron Franz.
FAVOURITE SCENE: The final scene between Ron and Christopher in the truck, with Ron admitting he’s grown quite fond of him and gives a brief rundown of his family history and offering to adopt him as his grandchild. Hal Holbrook is brilliantly heartbreaking in this scene.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.’ – Christopher McCandless
DID YOU KNOW?: No stunt-men or doubles were used for Emile Hirsch, including the scenes where Chris goes through river rapids, confronts a grizzly bear or rock-climbs.