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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Dan's Review: "The Walk" a beautiful WTC tribute

Oct 22, 2015 04:44PM ● By Dan Metcalf

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Walk - © 2015 Sony Pictures

The Walk (Sony/Tristar)

Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking.

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, Clément Sibomy, James Badge Dale, César Domboy, Ben Schwartz, Benedict Samuel, Steve Valentine.

Written by Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne, based on ”To Reach the Clouds” by Philippe Petit.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis.



If you’re afraid of heights like me, watching the simplest video or seeing pictures of people dangling over vast chasms can make your feet tingle, or you might even get a little queasy. That’s one of the pitfalls (no pun intended) for a guy like me in seeing The Walk, the true story of Philippe Petit’s grand caper to wire-walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt play Petit, the French street performer compelled to walk between the towers. Petit recruits several “accomplices” who help him plan and carry out his mission, including his girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) photographer Jean-Luis (Clément Sibomy) mathematician Jeff (César Domboy) insurance agent Barry (Steve Valentine) and electronics salesman Jean-Pierre (James Badge Dale).  Before leaving France for New York, Philippe also consults with his mentor “Papa Rudy” (Ben Kingsley), a lifelong high-wire artist, seeking a few pointers.

After months of planning, the caper unfolds as Philippe stresses over feasibility, logistic entanglements and what he often perceives as a lick of commitment from his team. The planned date (Aug. 24, 1974) finally arrives, and Philippe spends the entire night rigging the heavy metal wire across the two towers, but not before dodging WTC security, the Port Authority and NYC police. In the morning, he begins his walk across.

The Walk is a pure treat, and beautiful tribute to the vision of those who seek to inspire wonder. Robert Zemeckis’ witty script and scenic choreography (using some stunning special effects) and a great cast make The Walk one of the best films of the year.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of The Walk is the way in which the movie offers a humble, moving tribute to the iconic World Trade Center, reminding everyone how much it’s missed. It’s an inspiring movie, and if you can get past your fear of heights, The Walk will give you more than a few thrills.

The Walk Trailer