About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Into the Wild

From what I've seen of reviews, I'm about the only one who saw this movie without first reading the book. It's on hold at the library now, because I so much enjoyed the movie!

I had a big week last week, as I had a "little" gathering here on Friday to celebrate my birthday (by "little" read "the most people our house has ever held, by a lot, but I think everyone had fun") and I was cooking in preparation for it all week. So on Saturday, I felt like getting out! Zac and I went to see the movie, after looking up what's playing and we watched the trailer for it. It looked awesome, so we went--I didn't figure out until after I bought tickets that it was rated R! What kind of mother lets her 10 year old watch an R rated movie??? Well, there's always Lord of the Rings....in general, I think our rating system really fails us, as far as figuring out what is age-appropriate. If you throw in one little word, it's R, even if the rest is totally innocuous.

So, anyway, I asked what the R rating was for, and they said nudity. I knew Zac could handle that (gasp! we're all naked under our clothes! Did you know?) And it was just fine. (The worst is the previews--one was bad enough that I wanted to leave myself, not just hide it from my son!)

The movie is based on a true story of a young man who is just graduating from college. His affluent parents want him to attend law school. He has $24,000 in savings for college, and his parents are willing to supplement that with whatever it would take. They want to buy him a new car to replace his "junker". They want, in short, for him to "fit in" to their sanitized society.

And he rebels. He mails a check for $24,000 to Oxfam. He has the post office hold his mail for 3 months, then send it to his parents' house. And he takes off in his "junker" and goes in search of new experiences, which takes him to the North to work on a farm and learn how to hunt and eat animals, and to the desert of Arizona, where he camps out and meets an elderly vet who imparts wisdom, and in turn, is imparted wisdom to. And then, he finally is ready for his big adventure: the Alaskan wilderness.

The photography is beautiful, showing all kinds of topography that exists here in the USA. The grittiness of Los Angeles, the wildness of kayaking on the Colorado River, the amazing vistas in Alaska, the dry stark beauty of the desert. He meets lots of people who are very different from the types of people he grew up with, and learns lots from all of them. But in Alaska, he is alone, isolated, and he learns from the wilderness, from the books he brought along, and from himself.

I found it an amazing movie and enjoyed just pure joy from it (aside from his family's worry about his disappearance) up until one turning point in the movie. The end is, of course, tragic.

Zac and I highly enjoyed this movie!


DebD said...

The worst is the previews Isn't that the truth. Commercials on the TV are the same way.

Christina said...

I agree with what deb says... Paul loves football and the Packers are doing so well so we have been watching the game (the only tv that we ever really watch) and I almost want to ban Pavlos from watching because the commercials are so terrible!!!

RE: the movie... I read the book a long time ago. I want to see the movie. While reading the book, I kept wondering what would have happened to this young man if someone had introduced him to the lives of some of our desert fathers who went off into the wilderness? He was definitely in search of something...

Mimi said...

I loved being at your place, thanks!

The story seems incredibly sad, but good at the same time. I've not read it or seen it. However, there's a song off the soundtrack - it is by Eddie Vedder, but it is a remake, and there is a line that I adore "When I walk beside you, I am a better man".

Catherine said...

I have yet to see the film but loved the book. If you, too, enjoy reading it and want more Jon Krakauer you are welcome to borrow my copy of "Into Thin Air". It's another tragic story - this time about the Mt. Everest climbing disaster from many years ago. But it's so well-written and is very informative about mountain climbing and it's culture (good and bad).

We loved celebrating with you on Friday and I made your cheese/veg. soup on Sunday. Yum!

Molly Newman said...

Jim and I loved the book, too, and the movie sounds compelling. You and Zac have great taste in films!

Speaking of LOTR, our crew went to the JRR Tolkien Birthday celebration at Kennedy School today... got to see "Fellowship of the Ring" on the big screen for a donation of 2 cans of food per person. Good times, good times. Maybe next year we'll stick it out for "Two Towers" or "Return of the King" (my favorite of the three).

ElizO said...

I read the book but haven't seen the movie. One thing I came away with is how much parenting is a lesson in the Buddhist principle of nonattachment--how you have to let your child become the person they really are, as uncomfortable as that may be at times. Most of the time when people do dangerous things and they get lucky and they are OK, but sometimes they're not lucky, even if they aren't doing anything particularly dangerous. But, the things this young man seemed to be deeply meaningful to him, and sometime a life as deeply rewarding and meaningful as that involves significant risks, and sometime you're not so lucky. That said, I'll be happy if my kids can connect with things that are important to them without putting themselves into quite so much danger...

Matt said...

I hate previews. What is amazing to me is that they all say "This preview has been aprroved for all audiences". By whom? Satan?

About the only place ai feel comfortable taking my kids is the Stanford theater in Palo Alto. Old movies and no previews. http://www.stanfordtheatre.org

Heather Goodwin said...

I am a fellow Portland mama, and we are vegetarian too so I love your cooking blog too. I loved your review and will check out the movie!