Ace mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (Pitt, inert) leaves wife, unborn child and Austria to take a crack at the unconquered Himalayan peak of Nanga Parbat. The expedition ends prematurely in India, however, when Harrer and the nominal leader, Peter Aufshnaiter (Thewlis), are interned at the start of WWII. Escape to Tibet brings the men closer to the nub of the drama as Harrer is unexpectedly taken on by the country's youthful figurehead to provide a potted education in Western culture. Though French director Annaud's camerawork persuades us that Tibet is a special place, the dramatic structure seems to imply that it's all a mere backdrop to one man's path from self-absorbed arrogance to enlightened humanity. (Harrer neglected to mention his Nazi associations in the memoir on which the film is based.