Tackling Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan, Free Solo has now soared to cinema heights with a win for Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards tonight – and got the first use of the censor button.
Presented by past Oscar winner Helen Mirren and Aquaman himself Jason Momoa, the four-years-in-the-making film saw co-director Jimmy Chin get bleeped out as he uttered an expression of “Oh ****” shock when he stepped on stage to accept the win.
Already a winner at BAFTA Film Awards, the National Geographic docu depicts rock climber Alex Honnold’s attempt to scale the grand heights of the nearly sheer-vertical rock. In some ways making the movie was almost as much a part of the film as the crew tried to stay out of Honnold’s way.
Right off the bat co-director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi thanked Nat Geo for hiring “women and people of color — they only help make the films better.” Fighting also being the first group pushed off the stage by music for going over their allotted time, Vasarhelyi added, “This film is for everyone who believes in the impossible.”
Coming early in what some expect to be a long Sunday night, the Documentary Feature category also included the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Supreme Court pic RBG and the Syria-set Of Fathers and Sons. Southern-based Hale County The Morning, This Evening and the skateboarding friendship Minding The Gap also were nominated.