|IFC Films | Release Date: January 23, 2004||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
An absolutely thrilling recreation, in documentary style, of a now-legendary story.
Kevin Macdonald has a terrific tale on his hands, and his telling of it, very British in its matter-of-factness, can barely be faulted; yet the facts drop away, and it becomes impossible not to read the movie symbolically--as a journey to the center of the earth, or farther still.
The film, directed almost with fierceness by Kevin Macdonald, is a wondrous recreation of that physical adventure. The most profound element, the moral crux, is skimped, but I kept wondering, not so much about the actors who were playing Simpson and Yates, as about the cameramen who were photographing them on that icy face, possibly suspended while they were doing it. Read full review
At its heart, Touching The Void contends with the physical and spiritual dilemma of facing the unknown and overcoming paralyzing fear in order to emerge reborn on the other side. But the film's appeal is even more fundamental than that: It's just one of those stories that catches the breath, no matter how often it's told. Read full review
It's a nervy, quasi-documentary scheme that's often successful, perhaps more so than you'd expect for this kind of a hybrid endeavor. But Macdonald's technique eventually turns out to be as distancing as it is involving, paradoxically undercutting the reality as often as it enhances it. Read full review
It's true that the movie, arrested between documentary and drama, doesn't quite do justice to either medium: The actors playing Joe and Simon don't have anything like "lines" to simulate "drama," or even just "conversation," while the real guys often fall back on bland English understatement. Read full review
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