I'm sorry I never had the chance to see Into the Wild when it was originally released in theaters, because it probably would've been a nice experience to watch up on the big screen. Needless to say, it's still one of the best films from 2007, and one that was kind of overlooked once flicks like No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and Juno hit the streets. Into the Wild isn't the kind of film you watch for set pieces, story points or character arcs -- it's an "experience" film; whether or not we like Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) as a person or believe in whatever it is he's trying to achieve, we're stuck with him -- forced to join him on this journey across the country.
And we feel for him; we feel for his friends, we feel for his family -- but we can't help but get sucked up in the beauty of life, of nature. I don't fully agree with James' review of this film when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, though I completely understand how McCandless, as a character and a person, might not be the most likable guy. He makes choices we don't understand, and while he may appear as if he's out to intentionally hurt the ones he loves -- all he's really hurting is himself. But McCandless never saw it that way. This is what he wanted. This is the road he chose to walk down. Based on the best-selling book by Jon Krakauer, and directed by Sean Penn, this is a story that's magnificent and heartbreaking all at once. Yet that's exactly the way McCandless lived his life, and I imagine it's the way he'll always be remembered.