#157: Into the Wild (2007)

imdb top 250

When and how did I watch this?

January 12th and 13th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

A friend of mine gave me the book, which I never read.  Well, I read the back.  I had a general idea of how everything went down, so there’s that.

What do I know about it now?

I wasn’t supposed to like this movie.  And then, I did.  There were numerous touching moments in the film despite McCandless’ general naivety and false motives. I wanted to dislike him several times, but instead, I kind of felt sorry for him, watching the young man wander about looking for “something”, and finally finding it in the end when it was far too late. Philosophical banter dominated the film, even when the recipient of McCandless’ discourses wasn’t entirely ready for it.

What are some themes in the film?

Growing up, relationships, society, money, family, survival (on several levels), independence, happiness

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  The most gripping scene occurred about 20 minutes before the climax.  Mr. Franz attempts to convince Chris one more time not to go, offering to adopt him.  I felt like both parties understood that this would be the last time, and perhaps the end for both of them.

Why is this ranked #157?

I think there’s a bit of hype around this one, but generally it’s a solid film that deserves recognition for everything it offered.  At the very least, it’s one the viewer will never forget.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She enjoyed it as well.

Would I watch it again?

I think so.  The transcendentalist undercurrent warranted greater attention, and my wee daughter was somewhat difficult both nights we watched this film. It’d be good to get more clarity.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes, I think it’s worth a shot.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yeah. While it’s still relatively new, the movie is intelligent enough, moves along well, and gives the viewer something inspiring, if not entertaining.  Hirsch turned in a really solid performance, allowing us to effectively see both the character’s great intellect and devastating short-sightedness without coming across as tacky.

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