After the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire told this story with such energy and suspense, it was only a matter of time until someone decided to make a full-on adventure movie. And it's no surprise that the filmmaker turned out to be Robert Zemeckis, known for putting the seemingly unfilmable on the screen, from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to Forrest Gump to The Polar Express. So even if the film feels oddly artificial, this is a rousing, thrilling movie overflowing with cheeky energy.
At the centre of the story is Philippe Petit, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt with a twinkle in his eye and a faintly silly French accent that works perfectly. In Paris, Philippe is working as a street performer when he sees a drawing of the planned Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, and he immediately vows to put a wire between them and walk on it. Over the next few years, he recruits a team of accomplices, including his girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) and his circus-performer mentor Rudy (Ben Kingsley). Then in Manhattan, they find some men (James Badge Dale and Steve Valentine) to help them on the inside. And in August 1974, just before the towers were finished, they set their elaborate plan in motion.
While other accounts of this story describe Petit's high-wire performance in words and grainy still photos, Zemeckis uses swooping camera movement and vertiginous angles to give the audience goosebumps as Petit elegantly walks back and forth more than 400 meters above the gawping crowd below. After the rousing caper that went on before, this sequence is exhilarating. And Gordon-Levitt plays it beautifully, channeling the man's mischievous passion into every step. This even helps the audience accept the silly narration segments, in which Petit describes the action while perched on the top of the Statue of Liberty with 1970s Manhattan in the background.
Continue reading: The Walk Review
Philippe Petit is a young French high-wire artist, passionate about his tightrope dream and determined to find the perfect place to take the walk of his life. Soon he comes across the newly completed World Trade Centre's Twin Towers in New York; imposing edifices standing at more than 400 metres tall, larger than any man-made structures on Earth. After his first visit to the skyscraper rooftops, he knows he must do everything in his power to achieve this impossible dream - even if he risks death or prosecution in doing so. He hires some technically skilled friends who are willing to covertly set up the wire between the buildings and, after a few nervous doubts, injuries and complications with police, he takes the plunge and performs the most memorable high-wire act in history.
Continue: The Walk - Extended Trailer
Matthew is a typical loving father who takes a day trip with his young daughter Cassandra in his truck, stopping off at a roadside diner along the way to pick up pie for lunch. He's only gone a few minutes but by the time he returns to his vehicle he discovers that Cass is gone. She's nowhere to be found, and to make matters worse, when he reports her disappearance as an abduction to the police he is the first suspect in the case. The incident puts a deep strain on his marriage to her mother Tina, who doesn't know whether to blame him for letting her out of his sight or suspect his involvement herself. Some years later, they are still searching, but when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey find new leads, Matthew becomes determined to find out exactly where his daughter is being held.
Continue: The Captive Trailer
French artist Philippe Petit made history in 1974 for his death-defying high-wire feat in New York, where he performed a series of tricks across a cable that was rigged between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Having been learning to command a tightrope since the tender age of 16, by the time he was 25 he was ready to shock the world with his extraordinary courage and ability in what was possibly one of the most dangerous stunts in human history. Not only that, but his walk actually turned out to be completely unauthorised; a feat of trespassing that took Philippe hours and hours of planning and careful deception. However, when it came down to it, seeing just how much he thrilled the crowd that gathered in the streets below, he was naturally let off all charges by an impressed judge.
Continue: The Walk - Teaser Trailer
Based on a true story set in the early 1980s, Hoffman plays Dan Mahowny, a middle manager at a Toronto bank who finds himself swamped by gambling debts. To square matters with Frank (Maury Chakin), a bookie with a snow globe fetish, he uses his job's authority to set up fake loans and cash transfers. Hoffman doesn't play Mahowny as outwardly desperate; sitting at his desk with a loan approval form he's about to fake, he sweats and stares, but he's committed to feeding his addiction. There's a gleam of opportunity in his eyes, and you can feel him thinking: X amount of dollars means Y hours at the blackjack table in Atlantic City. Little else matters, including moral qualms.
Continue reading: Owning Mahowny Review