Director: James Gray
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson
Well last month I made it to the theater a grand total of one time and tonights film represents that experience. Since this was the only movie I left the house to see, I figured it deserved its own "Movie Night" post. I went into this movie not expecting much. Sure the reviews were mostly positive but I have been wary of Charlie Hunnam as a serious actor. I found his performance in Pacific Rim extremely lackluster but was pleasantly surprised by him in Crimson Peak. Which side of the coin does this movie fall on? Lets dive right in and find out!
In early 1900's England, Col. Percival Fawcett is tasked by the Royal Geographical Society with mapping the border between Bolivia and Brazil. While in the jungle he discovers evidence of a lost civilization, but is unable to explore his find any further. After returning home to England he shares his findings with the "RGS" and vows to return to the jungle to explore this "Lost City of Z".
I am very pleased to say my fears were unfounded. Hunnam is absolutely perfect as the obsessed and driven Fawcett. He brings a quiet dignity to the role and is mesmerizing in every scene. I now can honestly say I look forward to seeing more from him. The bigger acting surprise here though is Robert Pattinson, who is best known from the Twilight series of films, but is almost unrecognizable as Fawcett's gruff and stoic second in command. The movie as a whole is one of the best I've seen this year, and has a timeless look and feel to it that recalls John Huston's adventure classics Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen. If you can find a theater playing this wonderful film near you, I can't recommend it enough.
Trivia from IMDB for The Lost City of Z:
Director James Gray wrote to Francis Ford Coppola, who directed Apocalypse Now (1979), asking for advice about shooting in the jungle. Coppola's two-word reply was "Don't go." When Coppola decided to make Apocalypse Now, he received the same advice from Roger Corman.
Benedict Cumberbatch was originally going to play Percy Fawcett, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Doctor Strange (2016).
James Gray worked closely with Sienna Miller to ensure Nina was given full dimension and her own arc instead of being a passive wife character that Miller herself has often admitted she ends up playing.