‘Free Solo’: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi could collect Oscar Iou for ‘Meru’

‘Free Solo’: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi could collect Oscar Iou for ‘Meru’
Three years after making “Meru,” a documentary about a trio of mountain climbers, the risk averse husband and wife directing team of Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi are back with “Free Solo.” Their new film chronicles one man’s attempt to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan unaided. Free solo means no ropes, no safety harnesses, nothing. Alex Honnold, 33, is set on scampering up three thousand feet of nooks, crannies, edges and in places, flat slippery rock with seemingly nothing to grab onto.

“Meru” made the Oscar short list of 15 for Best Documentary. Unfortunately, despite a number of industry luncheons — one in New York was moderated by fan Tom Brokaw — the film met a mountain it couldn’t climb. It was denied an Oscar nomination. The audience award at Sundance didn’t matter to the academy.

At the recent New York premiere of “Free Solo,” fans like Ben Stiller (he
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