Perseverance causes a dream to come true for Phillippe Petit in The Walk. The world celebrated "wire walker," Philippe Petit traversed the immense void between the Word Trade Center towers in 1974. Joseph Gordon Levitt portrays Petit with convincing accuracy. Levitt's French accent is on target and his constant twinkling eyes cable his I've-got-a-secret spirit. Levitt got into Petit's shoes as well as skin as Levitt actually did walk the wire. Petit said that he could teach Levitt to walk the wire in eight days and Petit did. Clever photography and thrilling IMAX 3-D take the audience on Petit's walk with him. While Levitt makes this appear easy, don't try to walk a tightrope in your living room.
The Walk has it all. Good acting. Good writing and a good story based on Petit's memoir "To Reach the Clouds." While we know Petit lives to tell the tale, it is the tale that is intriguing. Petit's background and early life in Paris show where and when he got the idea and inspiration to create history based on a wild dream. First, he walks between the towers of Notre Dame which helps him to enlist a band of characters who act as an army of supporters. Each member is more bizarre than the next. Ben Kingsley portrays Papa Rudy who teaches Petit the essential skills of high wire. Charlotte Le Bon is Petit's amour and adds a touch of class which French women seem to corner the market in. Clement Sibony is a photographer who becomes Petit's steadfast assistant. Cesar Domboy portrays a math teacher, afraid of heights, who is essential to the entire operation. But it is the mystery and intrigue that will keep you cuticle biting and rooting for Petit and his Merry Band of marginal weirdos who do not mind breaking the law in the name of art. In the name of defiance. In the name of achieving the impossible. To stare into the face of death and smile. Even a policeman congratulates Petit as he arrests him. Robert (Forrest Gump) Zemeckis direction is stellar as usual. He builds suspense and tells the story of this ragtag crew then turns them all into heroes. The unity of friends with a common purpose is one of the themes. Not to give up on your dream, but to plan, take baby steps and not to be discouraged are all Petit's beliefs. He also never spoke the word 'death'. Petit's consciousness is the real star of this film. His attitude towards life and his indifference to public opinion are champion. His ambition is not blind, but neon. You will cheer his mindset as you watch him defy all odds and walk in the clouds while hundreds cheer 110 feet below. Don't miss The Walk. It is a winner and an homage to the Trade Towers which shine until the very end.