D: Baltasar Kormákur
Universal/Working Title/Cross Creek (Baltasar Kormákur, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nicky Kentish-Barnes, Tyler Thompson & Brian Oliver)
USA/UK/Iceland 🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇮🇸 2015
W: William Nicholson & Simon Beaufoy [based on the book "Left For Dead: My Journey Home From Everest" by Beck Weathers]
DP: Salvatore Totino
Ed: Mick Audsley
Mus: Dario Marianelli
Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Worthington
Everest may possess an ensemble cast of some big names, but the story really doesn't need them, it could have been just as good had the cast been a bunch of nobodies (especially since for half the duration all the actors face are covered beneath mountaineering clobber).
Still, this is a hugely underrated movie which probably deserved more attention during its cinema run. The film dramatises the true events of 1996, when an expedition up to the summit of the world's highest peak turned into a fight for survival due to averse weather conditions.
In the same ballpark as Alive (qv), this is an adventure story without good guys or bad guys, with triumph of the human spirit at the heart of its morals. The film sticks boldly to the facts as they are known, at the expense of a typical Hollywood ending.
The first big budget feature of Scandinavian director Baltasar Kormákur, this dramatic adventure film utilises spectacular photography and convincing visual effects which succeed in taking your breath away.