7/10 The incredible true story of Pam Bales, a search and rescue volunteer with a tragic past who finds someone nearly frozen to death on Mount Washington as she struggles to save a man who may not want to be saved and get them both to safety. The film started on shaky ground as it moved rather slow and I felt that I had already seen similar types of films before with “Vertical Limit”, “The Revenant”, “The Alpinist”, etc. all sharing varying degrees of similarities. Despite the slow start of what I thought would be a familiar tale, “Infinite Storm” is strongest in the third act, once the action/survival aspects have concluded. I won’t give away any specifics but since this is a true story from 2010, you might already be familiar with what happened or could simply look online to see what transpired. The third act has the vast majority of the character development, which makes sense. The opening has Bales, played brilliantly and bravely by Noami Watts, living alone, going about her daily routines and hiking. Since it is hard to develop a character when they so rarely interact with anyone else to even talk to, the minimal development makes sense. Once Bales finds a man simply referred to as “John”, she has someone to interact with as she quickly springs into action to try to save the both of them. The final 20 minutes or so are the most emotional, which even had me shedding a few tears. While the second act feels like “Dunkirk” in the sense that character development is replaced by simple survival, the third act inspires hope, even as we learn about Bales’ tragic past in more detail. It is incredible how the human body can survive even the harshest environments if one has the will to do so or how even in the most comfortable, safe environments, we can give up and die. Watts and Billy Howle (John) are fantastic and even though Bales’ husband/the father of her children is never even mentioned (which I would have liked to learn about), the dedicated performances, beautiful cinematography and perfect pacing make this true story one worth seeking out. While I’ve never been happier to live in a warm, sunny place as I do in Phoenix, Arizona, seeing the bravery of Bales and how anyone can change another person’s life at any moment in time, was an emotional and inspiring journey that I’m glad I took.

#VerticalDimwit / #SoundMixAndTrailMix / #Brrrdman / #TwinLeaks / #YouWillMeetASquallDarkStranger / #HisBarkIsWorseThanHisFrostBite

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