Sunday, March 16, 2008

Inattention to the Wild

Amelia and I watched Into the Wild last night. How did this get so overlooked by the Academy Awards? I thought Emile Hirsch was excellent as Christopher McCandless--it was a much stronger performance than, say, Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd. And I liked the Eddie Vedder soundtrack before I'd seen the movie, but seeing it coupled with the imagery . . . so good! I know Penn's style visually may have put some people off, but I just thought it was excellent beginning to end. I knew the story--I teach the article on which the book is based as part of my transcendentalists unit--but it's still a powerful and heart-breaking story. This is probably one of my favorite films to come out in the past year. Not as technically sophisticated as There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men, but while those films were in part about the evil that men do, this seemed to me more about the potential within. I may not want to be McCandless, but there is much about him to admire. I'm not sure how much of this story is fictional, but it's meaningful nonetheless.

Well, at least Hal Holbrook got nominated. I like that guy.

Life continues to be fairly good here. We're starting to get back into the yard, which is lots of fun. Who knew I'd enjoy working on landscaping? Now if only I was any good at it. Or had a clue what I was supposed to do. Still, it feels good to get out and work. And going out for some barbeque afterward just seems justified.

Now I just need to buy a grill so that I can do my own BBQ. Next week!

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