7:30 PM, 12th February, 2016
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT NIGHT: Starting off as a child actor in films like 10 Things I Hate About You and TV’s “3rd Rock from the Sun”, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has since gone on to appear in such hit films as Inception, Looper, (500) Days of Summer and The Dark Knight Rises.
A breathtaking and exhilarating take on the true story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. Petit, inspired by a picture of the Twin Towers in a magazine, decided that his dream would be to cross the immense void between the towers. He recruits an unlikely group of accomplices to help him achieve the highly illegal act. Together they battle many challenges including betrayal, dissension and countless other setbacks to their wild plan.
With electrifying visuals, the incredible heights of the towers are both gut-churning and magical, while the bird’s eye view of New York City offer truly magnificent views. The film is innovatively shot so that when Petit is up on the cable 400 metres above ground and across a clear blue sky, so are you.
Carried through by the ever charming and very talented Gordon-Levitt as Petit, The Walk is a polished gem full of comic energy high tension. Incredibly, Gordon-Levitt was trained in tightrope walking by the real Philippe Petit, and mastered the French language, complete with Parisian accent, for this highly acclaimed film from director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Cast Away).
The Walk, dedicated to the victims of the September 11th attack, reminds us that the pursuit of dreams is truly capable of overshadowing any form of terror.
9:43 PM, 12th February, 2016
After losing his parents in 2001, Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) and his best friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) start a tradition to spend every Christmas Eve out in New York. Part of their yearly tradition is to try to attend the Nutcracker Ball, the best Christmas Party in New York, but they can never find the location.
Fourteen years later, as they enter adulthood, they decide to have one final celebration together and end their tradition with a bang. Chris is now a famous football player and Isaac is expecting his first baby – but Ethan, who is down on his luck, might not be ready for the tradition to end.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as usual, is amazing. His comedic timing is spot on and he also has a flair for the dramatic. For those not familiar with Seth Rogen’s work, it mostly consists of crude jokes, smoking weed and outright slapstick ridiculousness, but with a certain roguish charm.
Aside from the crude humour, The Night Before is also intimate and heartwarming, thanks to the wonderful work of Director and Screenwriter, Jonathan Levine. Rogen, Gordon-Levitt and Levine previously worked together in the 2011 film 50/50 (if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it).
The Night Before loosely translates into a hilarious, modern take on “A Christmas Carol”, complete with a drug-fuelled visit to the past, present and future. It is full of very funny people and goes beyond the ‘bromance’ genre to engage real emotions. I can see it becoming a Gen Y cult Christmas classic.