Wednesday, February 13, 2008
DVD of the Week: Into the Wild
Widely considered to be one of the most unjustly overlooked features this Oscar season, Into the Wild received just one major nomination for veteran co-star Hal Holbrook in the supporting actor race. Overlooked were the strong turns by Emile Hirsch, finally delivering on the promise of his earlier roles in a truly captivating star making turn, and Sean Penn who stepped behind the camera for this outdoors adventure and proved a formidable talent as both director and adaptive screenwriter. The film also features beautiful performances from a wide reaching ensemble cast that includes Catherine Keener, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, and Jena Malone. The film, adapted from the Jon Krakauer novel, which is itself based upon actual events, chronicles the adventures of Christopher McCandless, (Hirsch) a college graduate from a priveliged family who shuns his opressive, conformist parents and seeks out adventure and emotional liberty in the desolate quiet of natural Alaska. His journey is at once a brutal collision with the physical stress and strife of the natural world and a spiritual quest of healing that allows him to reconcile himself with his identity, his past, and the sad reality of what's to become of him.