Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Into the Wild

We don't go to movies all that often anymore, so when we do, we want them to be worth the almost $10 per person admission fee. In the last couple of weeks, we have been to an uncharacteristically-for-the-Magees large amount of movies. There just seemed to be a bunch that we want to see. I Am Legend was terrible, unless you like zombie films with little plot in which your favorite character is killed. The new National Treasure was great as far the fun, unlikely, historical conspiracy theory movies go. Brian's boss didn't like it because he's a history buff and he called it completely implausible, but I am fortunately not plagued with that much brain-power and I liked it. Charlie Wilson's War is an excellent movie and provides an interesting view of the history of how the Cold War ended and why we're in the mess internationally that we're in now. Plus, Phillip Seymour Hoffman should win an Oscar for his role in the film. He's absolutely brilliant, but that's pretty much par for the course for him. (Side note: see the movie Capote and this movie and think about the range he has.)

But those movies aren't what this post is about. It's about the movie we saw last Friday at the wonderful new independent theatre in our little town called Cine. Into the Wild. It's based on a book by the same title written by Jon Krakauer. It is the true story of Christopher McCandless, who graduated from Emory in 1991, burned his identification and gave all of his money away before trekking across the Western US, mostly by foot, for two years. I remember loving the book when I read it and unlike some books that are made into movie, this one works. Sean Penn directed it and I feel he captured the story on film beautifully. I still can't put a finger on quite why it touches me so deeply. I wept for a while at the end of both book and movie. The story is just so inspiring and tragic at the same time. Maybe it's the part of me that would do the same thing if my family situation was like his was. Krakauer and Penn both relate the freedom that Chris felt when he was penniless and wandering. It's beautiful; I can't quite put it into any other words.

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