First Hit: An amazing adventure which touched me in my adventurer’s spirit.
Emile Hirsch does an extraordinary job of capturing the spirit of Christopher McCandless.
It is at the end of the film when Director Sean Penn shows a real life picture of Christopher sitting in front of the bus where he spent more than 100 days do you see how well Emile captured Christopher’s spirit. Their smiles are one and come from that deep joyful place of adventure and spirit.
During the film I counted three times when Emile looks directly at the camera. One is very up front and obvious the other two times are more a little more subtle, however I think this helps to set off the photograph of McCandless at the very end of the film.
The narrative part of the film is handled in two ways: 1) The voice of Jena Malone, Christopher’s sister, and 2) The writings of Christopher which appear on the screen from time to time. Jena’s narration speaks of the family history in which she and Christopher were brought up in. This is an important key to this film and helps the audience understand part of the motivation.
I did find the film a little long; however I was entranced with the scenes with Hal Holbrook who just may receive an Oscar supporting nod for his role.
Overall: This was a very very good film and Sean Penn does an outstanding job with the screenplay and direction of Jon Krakauer’s book.