Film review: Gordon-Levitt walks The Walk

Undated Film Still Handout from The Walk. Pictured: Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). See PA Feature FILM Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Reviews. PPP-150810-113946001
Undated Film Still Handout from The Walk. Pictured: Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). See PA Feature FILM Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Reviews. PPP-150810-113946001
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The Walk is esteemed director Robert Zemeckis’ latest project and it follows the life and times of Phillipe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) the man who, infamously, walked across a high-wire placed between the twin towers.

The Walk holds in it, themes of life and so it is only fitting that Zemeckis has created a film that feels as it is truly alive. A true master of craft, Zemeckis flourishes with strange but effective choices such as removing colour only to inject it back violently, speeding moments up, slowing moments down and even alternating between languages. Dariuz Wolski, the director of photography, helps to bring the twin towers back to life and he does so superbly. The gorgeous landscape of New York is beautiful, vast and evocative, the perfect setting for Petit and his high flying ambition.

The real testament to The Walk though is, of course, the titular stunt and it is incredible. From the moment Levitt steps both feet onto the high-wire until both of his feet are firmly on the ground, I was riveted. The walk itself is relatively short compared to the length of the full film but yet it is engraved firmly into my mind. It is stomach churning, sweaty palms territory and yet it is equally beautiful and emotional, it is the film’s true pay off and it is executed perfectly.

The Walk is a visceral, lively and stunning look at an incredible real life event, anchored by a wonderful lead performance and enthralling direction.

George Bidwell