Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk (TriStar, 10.2), the scripted, line-speaking version of James Marsh‘s Man on Wire with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit, will open the 53rd annual New York Film Festival on 9.25. It makes sense for a movie about a legendary New York event (i.e., Petit’s tightwire walk between the two World Trade Center towers in 1974) to debut in New York — let it go at that. But I have to acknowledge that last December’s teaser trailer worried me somewhat.
“Man on Wire for Megaplex Idiots,” posted on 12.10.14: “The opening shot of this teaser tells you everything you need to know about the Hollywood-ization of a really great story that doesn’t need any Hollywood-ization…unless you’re looking to sell it to the morons. That ascending high-speed elevator shot of the Word Trade Center’s South Tower is pure Chris Nolan, pure Batman. Ditto Joseph Gordon-Levitt walking out on a metal beam and balancing himself on one foot…showoff crap.
“Man on Wire was great stirring cinema — The Walk is obviously a downmarket makeover. Zemeckis is re-telling the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit‘s walk between the World Trade Center’s twin towers on 8.7.74. I’m sure it’ll be half-decent — it’s too good a story — and I realize it’ll involve a ton of CGI. But they need to tone down the visual flamboyance. Less is more, simple and plain.”