“The Walk” is based on the true story of a young French high wire walker who made his dream of crossing between the rooftops of the North and South buildings of New York’s World Trade Center (in 1974), at the time, the world’s tallest buildings, a reality. But this film is so much more than just that event alone.
The story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) begins when, at age eight, he sneaks into a circus and becomes immediately captivated by the high wire act. He decides to teach himself how to walk the rope, and it is years later in Paris that Philippe, now a street performer, reads about the construction of the World Trade Center buildings, and his dream is given wings. While in Paris, he meets a musician named Annie (Charlotte Le Bon), a fellow artist with whom he can share both his heart and his vision. Soon, he makes the acquaintance of others who will join him in his grand and audacious endeavor, code named “le coup.”
Director Robert Zemeckis’ (“Back to the Future,” “Forrest Gump) “labor of love” that is “The Walk” is evident from the beginning of the film, in both the impeccable cinematography showcasing France and the heart of Philippe “the dreamer.” Philippe’s enthusiasm is infectious and draws in not only the people that will be needed to make this happen, but the audience, as well, and does a good job in reminding film goers why we enjoy going to the movies.