Into the Wild (USA; 140 min.)

directed by: Sean Penn
starring: Emile Hirsch; Marcia Gay Harden; William Hurt; Jena Malone; Catherine Keener
Into the Wild

Hilary says: " Sean Penn's latest directorial & screenwriting effort, INTO THE WILD, is an adaptation of Jon Krakauer's book of the same name. WILD is the true story of an idealistic new college grad, Christopher McCandless, who travels around the US for two years before wholly going 'off the grid,' perishing in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness.

"I love Penn as a director, but stylistically I feel that this is the least interesting of his films. I didn't like the literary framing devices used -- the story broken into chapters with on-screen titles and McCandless' journal entries appear scrawled over the frames -- nor the voiceover narration. That said, the cinematography is stunning and Penn elicits a great performance from his leading man, Emile Hirsch. Hirsch deserves special notice for the physical challenges required by the role; he climbs mountains, kayaks in wild water, and loses enough weight to convincingly portray starvation.

"Bring your Kleenex -- Hirsch's interactions with the supporting cast, particularly Hal Holbrook, are quite moving. 4 cats"