This Sean Penn movie is very much a surprise.
film I remember him directing might have been one of the worst
directing efforts I can remember. Something about Jack
Nicholson getting weepy and the police force. I had almost
driven it out
my mind out of respect for Penn because I think he's actually kind of
cool. Yeah, he attaches himself too often to films packed with Meisner crying
moments. Yet, in his "private" life he's always in the news
going to some disaster area
because he can and generally seems interested in helping people.
That he is perceived as a fool in the right wing media for
an out of touch idealist is a crucial point to remember...
Making a film is often a therapeutic act, which is paradoxical because
the process of making a film is typically dysfunctional.
suppose the therapy is for previous events and this is what
makes it addictive.) For Penn to
this story to tell can't be an accident. The similarities
Penn and the lead real life character in Into the Wild are too close.
Both are free spirits who jump right
the middle of crazy experiences and as mentioned, their actions have
prompted a great deal of divisive debate. Penn's true
inspiration for making the film will probably remain a mystery, perhaps
even to him. But in watching the film the closeness to the
main character is deep and atypical. Put another way, this
isn't a Stanley Kubrick film by any stretch.
The acting in Into the Wild is real without having the sort of deep
actorly moments that Penn seems drawn to as an actor. The
cinematography is epic. The editing channels a long sprawling
story into as focused a narrative as could be hoped for. The
by Eddy Vedder is loose and downplayed, and adds surpising depth.
After leaving the theater, its hard to imagine the film
without Vedder's songs. And I didn't even think I like
Vedder, which makes it all the more surprising.
I can't imagine this film doing well at all at the box office, and the
soundtrack for sale at Starbucks will probably make more money.
Still, this has to be considered one of the better movies of
year so far. It doesn't scream Oscar bait like many films
will begin to debut as we get closer to the new year. But who
knows, perhaps it will get an award or two. If so, it would
some random integrity to the Academy. I'm not sure if it
see it again, but I would listen to the soundtrack.
I thought I was done with the movie but then I saw this interview with