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The Walk 

Wednesday, Oct 7 2015
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Robert Zemeckis'sThe Walkis as breathtaking as you'd hope a film about a man walking on a wire between the World Trade Center Towers to be. It's based on the true story of Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who achieved the feat in 1974 and told his story in both his bookTo Touch the Cloudsand the 2008 documentaryMan on Wire. No film sinceGravityhas so demanded to be seen in 3-D on the biggest possible screen. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's inherent charm makes Petit far more palatable than he seems in real life, getting you to believe that he could assemble a crew to pull off this illegal stunt.The second act of the classically structuredThe Walkplays like a heist film, focusing on the gathering of that crew and planning every detail of what Petit refers to as "the coup,"complete with a score that evokes caper films asTopkapiandThe Thomas Crown Affair. But the film's money shot is Petit on the wire in the third act, and Zemeckis the visual stylist does not disappoint. (Be ready for your palms to sweat.)The Walkalso manages to commemorate the Twin Towers without getting maudlin or even directly referencing 9/11, which may be the neatest stunt of all.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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