There will be one more part after this and then I’m done. Will have ultimately seen 117 out of the 121 Oscar nominees, my personal best. I will be posting my list tomorrow if anyone could help me out in watching the last four. Anyway, here is a quick review on two more:
FREE SOLO (Nominated for Best Documentary)
I’ve now seen 4 out of the 5 nominated full documentaries nominated for an Academy Award, and while any of them would make a fine winner, I ultimately hope that this wins. It is AMAZING. The documentary is about a man named Alex Honnold and his dream to pursue a free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. What is a free solo climb? You know rock climbers right? Imagine them scaling giant rock spires with no harnesses, ropes, or any protective equipment of any kind. Instead they have to rely solely on their athletic ability. Many people have died free soloing around the globe.
This is one documentary that is sure to have your heart pounding. It’s not a spoiler to say that he makes it to the top and doesn’t die, because I don’t think there would be a movie necessarily if he plummeted to his death. Oh wait, right, there still would be because Hollywood loves a tragic story as much as they do a triumphant one. But the doc isn’t just about the climb. It’s about Alex and how he lives his life climbing while trying to maintain a romantic relationship to a woman who happened to give her number to him at a signing.
The doc shows him practicing for the climb, older footage of him free solo climbing other things. That combined with Marco Beltrami’s amazing score, the 1 hour and 40 minutes just floats by in a snap of the fingers. The film also goes into the intricacies of rock climbing while still making it interesting enough even for the casual viewer. I was awed while watching this, it might be my favorite documentary of all time to be honest.
This was just available to buy starting today.
PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE. (Nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject)
Just released on Netflix today, this short 25 minute documentary is the favorite to win Best Documentary Short Subject, and I hope it does. It was funny, light, inspiring, and entertaining enough where I could’ve watched it a whole other hour had it turned into a full length documentary.
What is it about? It’s about a small group local women in Hapur, India as they inform their women and community on women menstruation. They also learn how to operate a machine that makes cheap and biodegradable sanitary pads. They then go around trying to sell them, but inform everyone at the same time, as some of them don’t really know what menstruation is all about, and some of them even laugh and are embarrassed at the word. One woman tells about how she basically dropped out of school because she didn’t have a sanitary pad at the time, and she’d have to go out of her way to change all the time, and men would either stare at her or make fun of her.
Again, I really wish this was longer, it was as engaging as Free Solo. But I guess you could say it is short, sweet, and just proof that the world is trying to change for the better, one small step at a time. Truly inspiring.