Into the Wild
When I was in filmschool, this guy in the theater department, an aquaintance of mine, roommate of a friend, read the book. Immediately he withdrew from school, sold all his posessions and bought camping gear. The left over money he gave away and he left on foot. I never saw him again, but I heard he did eventually make it to Alaska.
The film isn't the best of the year, but I found that it got under my skin. The story is compelling in that we all want to escape society for beautiful sunrises and tranquility, but most only can afford a week's paid vacation not their entire life.
The film's weaknesses are in two fold. The first is Emille Hirshe. I really have liked him as an actor thus far, but there are moments in the film where I wanted to slap him, not the character, but him. He mugs for the camera too often, sometimes after delivering a really strong screen moment. Having seen the Jesse James film it makes me wonder how much better this film could have been if Casey Affleck had portrayed Chris.
The second weakness is Sean Penn. He is a stellar director, but sometimes his political voice shines through so strongly it's alienating.
But, the film is still really, really good. Kristen Stewart is a vision on the screen. She has grown up since Panic Room, and looks like a model. She's only given one direction (Look smolderingly Hot) and she pulls it off with gusto, but she does manage to sneak in a glance here, a wispy smile there that proves her talent.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about the film since it ended, but I really with Casey Affleck would have led the charge.
Someone earlier mentioned what Wim Wenders would have done with this. Imagine if Gus Van Zant and Casey Affleck had made this film. They didn't and the results are still really good.