Screenwriter: Sean Penn
Release Date: Out Now
Into The Wild is Sean Penn’s most adult, most intimate and most immediately accessible work on film, and he isn’t even in front of the camera. What his other directorial performances in The Pledge and The Crosing Guard, there were a strong sense of story, and you could fairly feel Penn urging you to empathize with his characters. In Into the Wild, there is an almost laid-back, anodyne style to the storytelling, with the power of the performances and the cart- wheeling of inevitable tragedy that rolls the film along, rather than a directorial push of personality. And this comes despite the director’s obvious love for actor Emile Hirsch. Penn’s camera at times is too close, too curious for comfort, and as when McCandless’s sister describes her brother doing something “with characteristic immoderation”, one could imagine she’s speaking of Penn, who takes every opportunity to let Hirsch charm and seduce the audience with his easy smile and guileless ambitions.