Into the Wild
This is the true story of Christopher McCandless, as told first in the novel by Jon Krakauer and now onscreen by Sean Penn. Krakauer’s storytelling and Penn’s screenplay breathe full life into the characters and the story of the last few years of a wandering soul’s life. After graduating from Emory University in 1990, McCandless (Emile Hirsch) disappears, renaming himself Alexander Supertramp. His two-year adventure leading up to hitchhiking to Alaska is interspersed with scenes from his final weeks, living in a bus in the wilderness outside Fairbanks. He hunts for food and builds his own dams. Penn has made a beautiful film. The scenery, especially in Alaska, is breathtaking. And the soundtrack, consisting of mostly original tracks by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, strikes a chord. The film’s real beauty, however, comes from the characters who are so real it’s impossible not to feel connected to almost every single one of them. McCandless’ passion and his willingness to give up everything for his dreams are likely to awaken the inner freedom seeker in all of us.