Alex Honnold Free Solo Jimmy Chin, E. Chai Vasarhelyi Interview
Honnold mid-free solo, about 2,000 feet off the deck without a rope

‘Free Solo’ Tops Out With Oscar Nomination

The most epic climbing film of 2018, ‘Free Solo’ now stands as the frontrunner for Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

“What a crazy ride!” Alex Honnold’s Facebook post from this morning perfectly sums up his Hollywood trajectory.

Early Tuesday, the list of nominees for the 91st Academy Awards went public. And it was no small surprise for E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s film “Free Solo” to be among them.

‘Free Solo’ Nominated for Oscar

In case you’ve been living under (or on) a rock: “Free Solo” tells the story of Alex Honnold’s successful attempt to scale the 3,000-foot El Capitan without a rope — alone. In June 2017, Honnold claimed this Holy Grail of climbing with the ascent. The movie “Free Solo” documents his achievement in palm sweat-inducing detail.

The nomination for Best Documentary Feature is Vasarhelyi and Chin’s first for the Oscars. But that won’t make them underdogs. “Free Solo” has already amassed 44 nominations and 14 awards from festivals and critics around the world.

As of this month, the film has earned more than $13 million in U.S. box office sales. That’s an impressive feat for any documentary, not to mention a climbing film that has only hit select theaters nationwide.

If you haven’t seen “Free Solo,” you’re missing out. You can buy it for $10 or rent it for $6 on Amazon and iTunes.

2019 Oscars: Best Documentary Feature

“Free Solo” will face four other films at next month’s Oscars:

  • “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” provides a race- and community-driven peek at life in the American South.
  • “Minding the Gap” is a coming-of-age story of three friends in the Rust Belt.
  • “Of Fathers and Sons” tracks the daily life of a radical Islamist family over two years.
  • And “RBG” tells the life, legacy, and continuing pop-culture influence of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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The Oscars will air February 24. Congratulations to the entire team for an amazing achievement — and an unforgettable film!

Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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