Sunday, December 6, 2009

Capsule Review: Into The Wild (2007)

Sean Penn’s adaptation of the story of Christopher McCandless, who starved to death in Alaska after abandoning society for a life in nature, is beautifully filmed with tremendous performances, but gets a bit tedious in the face of the sheer wrongheadedness of the central plan. With almost no wilderness training or supplies, Christopher (Emile Hirsh) manages to keep himself alive in an abandoned bus he turns into a makeshift home, but when food runs low he finds his way back to civilization blocked. Much more interesting are the people he meets on his journey, particularly Hal Holbrook who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. But the sense of dread – and Christopher’s attempts to jettison his relationships – can make watching the film a frustrating experience.

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