Millions of people have traveled to New York City with a dream. Immigrants have sailed thousands of miles for freedom and an opportunity to taste the American dream. Actors arrive with dreams of performing on Broadway and future young businessmen and women explore and execute dreams of taking over Wall Street.
However, hardly anyone dreamt of walking a wire between the World Trade Centers Twin Towers. Not until New York City met French acrobat Phillipe Petit.
Inspired by James Marsh’s 2008 documentary, Man On Wire (which won the Academy Award and Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival), Writer/Director Robert Zemeckis brings Petit’s story to life with exuberance, unbridled tension and humor brilliantly executed with a cast led by Joseph Gordon Levitt.
Petit fulfilled his dream of stringing a high-tension wire between the Twin Towers and walking across it before the Towers officially opened to the public in 1974.
This film was absolutely fascinating a couple of reasons. Mostly because the Twin Towers were destroyed on a day that will always be a sorrowful part of American History – 9/11. Watching a film where you know this building is obviously computer generated from old footage and photographs is surreal to say the least. Lastly, Joseph Gordon Levitt is giving us an Oscar worthy performance.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has really been turning in some stellar performances in the last few years. between “Don Jon”, “Lincoln” and “Inception”. However, his performance as Phillipe Petit in “The Walk” will finally earn him the respect and recognition he deserves. It is always daunting as an actor to take on the portrayal of a character who is still living, but watching Gordon-Levitt capture the essence, energy and manic enthusiasm of Petit to perfection and more importantly, his wire walk re-creations are astounding and nerve-wrecking, yet exhilarating to witness.
Kudos to Director Robert Zemeckis for bringing James Marsh’s documentary “Man on Wire” to life with an excellent screenplay, cast and excellent use of twin tower footage – for without it this story is impossible to tell.
Petit’s story is an excellent example of seeing a dream come to fruition by any means necessary…even at the cost of one’s life, friendships and relationships.
James Marsh’s documentary, “Man on Wire” gives you massive insight into Phillipe Petit, but Zemeckis and Gordon-Levitt bring his dream, his vision and his story to life.
To watch the final image of a lit up twin towers knowing they no longer exists is immensely emotional. One can’t help but wonder and be grateful that 9/11 didn’t occur that fateful day in 1974 when a dreamer walked across the clouds making a lifelong goal come to life.
The Walk is in theaters NOW!