The American drama adventure film Infinite Storm, starring Naomi Watts, Sophie Okonedo, Billy Howle, Denis O’Hare, and Parker Sawyers, hit theaters a few days ago. The film is directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert with a screenplay by Josh Rollins. It is based on the article High Places: Footprints in the Snow Lead to an Emotional Rescue by Ty Gagne which is based on a true story. The plot centers on a climber played by Naomi Watts who treks Mt. Washington and decides to turn back when a blizzard approaches. She however encounters a stranded man and tries her best to bring them back home to safety before nightfall. The film received mixed reviews so far but praise for Watts’ performance. AV Club reviewed the film and praised Watts’ performance saying, “It is on Watts’ shoulders, however, that Infinite Storm otherwise rests. Her talent at conveying swallowed pain and heavy regret outstrips the script’s more basic representations of the same.” If you are drawn to storylines like that of Infinite Storm and you’re looking for the next movie to watch here are five of the movies we highly recommend you watch.
Similar to Infinite Storm, the 2015 historical survival adventure film Everest features real events and recounts the ordeal of two expedition groups led by Rob Hall and Scott Fischer as they hike up Mt. Everest in 1996. The film was directed and produced by Baltasar Kormákur with a screenplay by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy. It stars an ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Martin Henderson, and Emily Watson. In a review by Rolling Stone, they praised the films’ visuals saying, “Short of heading to the Himalayas and climbing the world’s highest mountain yourself, seeing Everest in 3D IMAX is the next best thing, a dizzying visual adventure that will knock the wind out of you.”
If you were impressed with Watt’s performance in Infinite Storm, her lead role in the 2012 English-language Spanish disaster drama film The Impossible is a must-watch. The film was directed by J. A. Bayona and written by Sergio G. Sánchez and based on real events recounting the heart-wrenching experience of a family during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami while on a vacation in Thailand. The cast features Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, and Tom Holland in his film debut. The film received positive reviews from critics especially for Watts’ performance who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. The Guardian published a review of the film praising the film’s ability to evoke strong emotions. “With simplicity and conviction, it manages to be something other than a conventional disaster movie. The tsunami sequence itself is a masterly piece of film-making – and as for what follows, I have to admit to being blindsided by its real emotional power.”
Similar to Infinite Storm, the 2010 biographical survival drama film 127 Hours features a story of survival and rescue. The film was co-written, produced, and directed by Danny Boyle and stars James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, and Clémence Poésy. The film is based on Ralston’s memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place (2004) and it narrates the canyoneer’s story of survival when he gets trapped by a boulder while traversing the Bluejohn Canyon in April 2003. The film garnered critical acclaim and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Best Picture and Actor for Franco. In a review by Hollywood Reporter, they gave credit to the film’s creative personnel and praised Boyle and Franco for the film’s success. “All of the key creative personnel contribute to the movie’s nail-biting tension and unexpectedly moving finale. Jon Harris’s editing is matchless, and Rahman’s score effectively heightens the emotion. Ultimately, however, it is the talents of Boyle and Franco that sock this movie home.”
Another adventure drama film featuring a strong female lead is the 2014 American biographical adventure drama film Wild directed by Jean-Marc Vallée with a screenplay by Nick Hornby, which is based on Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. The film stars Reese Witherspoon alongside Laura Dern with Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, and Gaby Hoffmann in supporting roles. The film centers on Cherly Strayed’s journey to healing as she deals with grief and divorce. She decides to go backpacking alone as she hikes the long and tough Pacific Crest trail. The film garnered positive reviews from critics and Witherspoon and Dern received nominations at the 87th Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. Empire reviewed the emotional film and wrote, “Given the general predilection for biopics and memoirs to make triumphs out of tragedy or gloss over emotional trauma, the frankness is refreshing. Wild walks to its own beat. You can fall in, you can fall out, it doesn’t matter. This is, after all, a film about learning you can walk alone.”
Touching the Void
Similar to Infinite Storm, the 2003 docudrama survival film Touching the Void centers on the story of two people as they descend from a hike. The film is based on Simpson’s 1988 book of the same name and recounts the grueling journey of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates as they descend from the summit of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes after succeeding in reaching the peak. The film was directed by Kevin Macdonald and stars Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron, and Ollie Ryall. The film received critical acclaim and was included in PBS’s list of “100 Greatest Documentaries of All Time”. The Guardian published a review of the film and wrote, “Macdonald’s movie is thrilling not because of any divine or aesthetic rapture, but because the sheer vastness of the mountain landscape seems to go beyond beauty, exceeding the limits of the thinkable. It’s a very real, scary kind of vertigo to experience in the cinema.”
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