Sunday, March 30, 2008

'Into The Wild' ...

We know how it ends.

Well, maybe you don't know how it ends, but you can guess, can't you?

I wanted to see this movie when it was in theaters, and, as is often the case, I didn't get around to it.

It would have been interesting to see it on the big screen, all those vista shots, the action sequences (sure, let's shoot some rapids in a kayak), but I'm glad that I saw it on DVD. Partly because it's long (about 2 1/2 hours) and partly because I like to cry in the privacy of my own home. (Not that I've never walked out of a theater with tear-stained cheeks.)

It's a beautiful movie. It's a well-acted movie. It's a haunting movie. It was not, however, a commercial movie. It made just over $18 million, which isn't abysmal for a movie that cost around $15 million to make. And I suspect that Sean Penn isn't the kind of director who's expressly interested in making films for their box-office grosses. Still, it would have been nice to see this movie play to a wider audience.

Though I wonder who that audience is, exactly?

One segment, surely, is fans of Eddie Vedder. I bought the soundtrack long before I saw the film. Actually, I bought the soundtrack as soon as it was available. And now, having seen the movie, I appreciate the music even more. I love Eddie's voice and this album thrills me. I regularly find myself spontaneously humming one of his melodies. Probably because he hums it, too. It is infinitely hummable.

Eddie won a Golden Globe for that tune, "Guaranteed." And then, stupefyingly, he was shut out of the Oscar nominations. Which wouldn't be entirely infuriating if it weren't for the fact that three songs from "Enchanted" got nods. Three. Songs. Three songs. From the same movie. Three cutesy Disney songs.

Seriously? "Happy Working Song" got a nod over "Guaranteed"? Don't get me wrong: I think Amy Adams is cute as a bug and I love her voice. You can hear it here. But in my world, a song that includes the words "hairball" and "vermin" and "stinky socks" should not be nominated over a song that plays an integral role in a movie, as did "Guaranteed."

Watch Eddie perform it:

Thankfully, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won for "Falling Slowly," as you know. Which doesn't entirely make up for Eddie's snub, but I'm grateful that the stinky-sock song was not rewarded.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the book. It's an outstanding tale and the writing is terrific. Jon Krakauer.

4:53 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I liked the movie a lot. I was so impressed with the kid's hard-core idealism.

7:14 PM  

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