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“Because it’s there” is famously a good enough reason to climb Everest, and it’s probably also as much justification as was needed to greenlight an expensive and starry 3D/IMAX 3D film about Everest, too. After all, who doesn’t thrill to vertiginous helicopter shots of icy slopes, who doesn’t love queasy 3D sequences where we swoop over and under spindly ladder bridges, who doesn’t appreciate the spectacle value of a roiling storm that blots out the blue sky with the force and speed of a megaton bomb? The mountain summons such imagery immediately and has a hold on the collective imagination, just by being there, that makes the whole project feel like a no-brainer. And on those visceral levels, Baltasar Kormákur’s “Everest” certainly delivers. But as a functional adventure-cum-disaster flick it works hard not to let the grandeur of its setting become obscured by anything as extraneous as plot or human connection: “Everest” boasts drama so high it’s Himalayan, but the characterization is thinner than the air up there.
READ MORE: Watch: 5 Clips From ‘Everest’ With Jake Gyllenhaal Plus New Images And More
The film, written by Simon Beaufoy (“127 Hours”) and William Nicholson (“Unbroken”), opens with a series of titles explaining the significance of its lead character, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) — the man who pioneered the idea of bringing expeditions to the summit as a job, essentially making Everest into a business. Other companies and individuals followed Hall’s lead, including Scott Fisher (Jake Gyllenhaal), who ran a rival concern, so by 1996, when the film takes place, the lower slopes of Everest were getting quite crowded — and not everyone had the integrity and nous that the pragmatic, cautious Hall did. At least part of the subtext here (sadly unexplored like many other interesting avenues) is that the commercialization of Everest makes these ascents less heroism than tourism, so the decision to retell the true story of one such expedition that ended in tragedy comes somewhat pre-loaded with compromised stakes.
In an extended series of getting-to-know-you scenes we’re introduced to Hall’s crew this time out, including ornery Texan Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), meek but driven mailman Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), attempting to be the first woman to scale all seven of the world’s highest summits, and Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), a journalist who’s going to cover the climb for Outside Magazine. Not all of these people are going to make it home, or even back to base camp, which is held down (sometimes literally — it’s a bunch of tents) by Helen Wilton (Emily Watson) and a new doctor (Elizabeth Debicki), while Guy Cotter (Sam Worthington) acts as lookout and weather spotter on a nearby, lower slope. The women back home are repped by Hall’s pregnant wife, Jan (Keira Knightley), and Weathers’ harried missus, Peach (Robin Wright). And while it’s kind of depressing that they are so backgrounded, the fraught conversations they have with their spouses do provide some of the film’s more emotionally effective, if utterly manipulative, moments. Plus Knightley and Watson both get to gargle thick Kiwi accents, so there’s that.
And, while Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) on “House of Cards” has morphed from anti-hero to outright villain, it’s his wife, Claire (Robin Wright), who’s become the more nuanced, interesting character. After realizing that years of blindly amassing her husband’s political power has left her with no influence of her own — “Without me, you are nothing!” Frank spits at her — she curtly walks out on him at the end of Season Three.
We’ve made a big update to the Robin Wright Web Gallery with all the photos from events she attended in 2012 and 2011.
Robin Wright Web Gallery > Events > 2012 Events
Robin Wright Web Gallery > Events > 2011 Events
‘We need a revolution, we really do,’ declares Robin Wright. ‘Thank God gender equality is finally being talked about and making news, but we need a female Che Guevara.’ We are drinking Provençal rosé in the genteel bar of the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore — an unlikely position, admittedly, from which to start a revolution — discussing the gender pay gap, which was catapulted into the spotlight this year after Patricia Arquette’s rabble-rousing speech at the Oscars, in which she said: ‘It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.’
Congrats to Robin, who scored a nomination for best actress today!
House of Cards’ Robin Wright, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
“I’m thrilled that our show and actors have been recognized and I want to thank the academy for this great honor.”
When did you first get the bug to direct?
I’d been thinking about it for the last 15 years. When you’re on the set as an actor, you imagine yourself being in the director’s shoes — all actors do that. A lot of times you bite your tongue because you know when something just isn’t going to work.
But the thing that really got you motivated was hearing that Kevin Spacey was going to direct an episode?
Yeah, I perked up my ears when I heard that. I was like, “Hey, wait a minute. I want to do one, too!” Surprisingly, [showrunner Beau Willimon] was very welcoming to the idea. There really wasn’t any resistance.
Robin Wright, the Dallas-born star of House of Cards and Forrest Gump, will speak at the Triumph for Teens Luncheon on May 7 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
The event, which will raise money for the substance abuse treatment programs at Phoenix House Texas, is being chaired by retired Judge John Creuzot, who founded Dallas County’s first drug court.
“Young adults and teens today face very real and significant pressure to use and abuse drugs and alcohol, not just recreationally but for coping methods as well,” said Doug Reed, president and regional director of Phoenix House Texas. “Phoenix House is a source of hope, education, treatment and recovery for teens and their families who need our help addressing their abuse and addiction.”
Wright works to fight campus alcohol abuse and hazing and will address teen substance abuse as well as highlights of her career in her remarks. She’s a Golden Globe winner whose movies also include The Princess Bride, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and She’s So Lovely.
Big Happy Birthday to Robin! May the next year bring everything and so much more.