The Walk: A compelling and viscerally stunning film

In partnership with Carter Film and Ideas, The JailHouse will be publishing the works of cinephile Ben Carter. You can find the original posts on his blog.


The Walk is a true story of overcoming obstacles and the perseverance of the human spirit. If you’re not familiar with Robert Zemeckis’ previous work; he’s directed Forrest Gump, Castaway, and Back to the Future. In my opinion, Zemeckis does a much better job of mixing storyline and special effects in The Walk. Some of his earlier work, like Forrest Gump and Castaway, feel overlong and drawn out. Some of my favorite films in the past are the ones that keep me captivated and engaged so that I lose track of time in the midst of the movie.
The Walk is just over two hours, but flew effortlessly by for me. The scenes of a young Petit in Paris are beautifully shot, showing the stone streets and amazing buildings, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt juggles and wire-walks in front of crowds. I enjoyed seeing the full story of Philip Petite, from his humble beginnings, to his big moment between the Twin Towers. Every moment keeps you transfixed on the screen, and Levitt had a great supporting casts in Ben Kingsley and Charlotte Le Bon.
I appreciated that the movie not only showcased Petit’s best moments, but also was sure to not skip over his failures a long the way. It was important in understanding the spirit and passion he had to achieve the seemingly impossible, regardless of his pitfalls. Even Petit had his “Steve Job moments” where his eyes were focused solely on the goal, while he angered and frustrated those around him. It made Petit seem all the more human, which I think was important to the story.

The walk on the wire itself is thrilling to watch and keeps you on the edge of your seat. My hands actually sweated a little as terrified as I was watching the walk 110 stories over New York, which I think is a testament to the power of the movie and it’s amazing special effects. I left the movie feeling inspired and content with the results of The Walk. In a competitive year for the Oscars, Levitt deserves to at least be up for Best Oscar because he finally found a performance that was worthy of his talents.

*Image from HDWallpapers

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