in about 100 words or less
USA 148m, Colour
Director: Sean Penn; Cast: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook
Based on a book by Jon Krakauer, which documents the life and death of Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild is a tragic story about a young man’s idealist rejection of materialism, society, friends and family – which ultimately led to his demise in the Alaskan wilderness. In contrast to what appears to be a realistic portrayal of McCandless’ break from society, one which was rooted in strained family relationships, and his deeply entrenched philosophical attitudes – the film tends to downplay the hardships of his journey in favor of McCandless’ romanticized perspective. Although a critical viewing of this film reveals this, such an understanding may well be lost on other would-be adventurers who might be inspired by this story to simply “better prepare” (Klaus Ming April 2010).