Into the Wild

Director Sean Penn makes his first masterpiece with this movie, based on the true story of Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch), a well-to-do college graduate who set out on a personal voyage that ended with tragic results in the Alaskan wilderness. Hirsch is a revelation as McCandless, a passionate young man who had some good intentions, but poorly executed those intentions. Penn shot shockingly beautiful visuals and set them to a terrific soundtrack by Eddie Vedder, Hal Holbrook delivers one of the year’s better supporting performances as a lonely man who befriends Chris before his Alaskan journey. While the events in the film are tragic, Penn still manages to make a film that’s uplifting, thanks in large part to the Hirsch performance.

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