The Walk

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in TriStar Pictures' The Walk

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in TriStar Pictures’ The Walk

The Walk is the masterfully told true story of Frenchman Philippe Petit’s daring high-wire walk between New York’s World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1974. Petit completed his “le coup” between the not-quite-finished towers without the aid of a safety line, even taunting waiting police by extending the walk and lying down precariously in the middle.

Director and writer Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away, Forrest Gump) has created a remarkably suspenseful film with the best use of 3D seen in a long time. The beautiful cinematography and fluid special effects complement the poetry of Petit’s high-wire movements without distracting from the basic human emotion at the heart of any great Zemeckis film.

The beautiful cinematography and fluid special effects complement the poetry of Petit’s high-wire movements

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) portrays Petit and is one of few actors consistently at the top of their game — a true creative who can disappear into a character quietly. He may not be highly awarded or showboat his skills, but the man can act and his performance as Petit is engaging.

In early screenings of The Walk audiences have reported experiencing feelings of vertigo. Even if you aren’t affected by heights and know the story of Petit, The Walk will likely produce an involuntary physical reaction. It’s something usually reserved for horror films, but even though there are no ghosts or ghouls The Walk is the most thrilling film of the year.

Star rating/5: ****

In Australian cinemas October 15

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