Friday, October 12, 2007



Emile Hirsch: 22-year old Christopher (Chris) McCandless
Jena Malone: narration by Chris' sister, Carine
William Hurt: their father Walt
Marcia Gay Harden: their mother Billlie
Brian Dierker: aging hippie Rainey
Catherine Keener: his soul-mate Jan
Vince Vaughn: wheat farmer Wayne Westerberg
Kristen Stewart: a teenage singer Tracey
Hal Holbrook: senior citizen Ron Franz

There are few films with a running time in excess of two hours that I would recommend seeing; but this is one of them.

The fact that it is based on a true story only serves to enhance its appeal. Fabulous camerawork (unusual camera angles, sweeping vistas, tight close-ups and lingering sunsets) coupled with some really good acting by most everyone (the border guard being an exception) a great soundtrack and a story about someone who takes the unconventional route makes for compelling viewing.

Using flashbacks always results in topsy-turvy chronological references but generally these are easy to handle, in part because of titles appearing periodically indicating the point in time. One other thing: a couple of times I started to get the feeling that it is running a tad too long then something happens and I wanted to stay on. And did so right to the end.

for language and some nudity (the nudist colony kind).

The squeamish like me will have an opportunity to rest their eyes about ¾ of the way through after Chris bags his first moose.

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