Movie tip: "Free Solo"

MOVIE TIP

Free Solo

Being scared of heights, I broke into a cold sweat just watching this Oscar-winning documentary about world-class climber Alex Honnold. He doesn’t just scale sheer surfaces that seem to shoot up a straight 90 degrees from Earth; he also does it without ropes — i.e., free soloing. The film follows his plan to conquer El Capitan. Members of the movie crew, who were often filming while hanging from ropes off the rock face, capture the vertiginous views. But this is also a complex portrait of the quirky Honnold, whom co-director Jimmy Chin refers to at one point as Mr. Spock. Honnold can seem emotionally detached, and he is also, as his patient girlfriend notes, brutally honest, which makes for plenty of interesting moments. Everything in his life is in service to his obsession with climbing.

 

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