‘The Lost City of Z’ Review

The Lost City of Z‘ is masterfully crafted and superbly acted tale of adventure, obsession, family, and discovery. One that should definitely make it onto many top-10 list at years end. Click through to read my full review

The Lost City of Z‘ takes place at the dawn of the 20th century and the story spans 25+ years following the journeys of Percy Fawcett, played tremendously by Charlie Hunnam, an undecorated military man who cannot move up in his rank due to his “poor choice of relatives” but then captures the world’s attention when he ventures into the Amazon under the orders of the Royal Geographical Society to make a map of the previously unexplored jungle and finds remnants of an ancient civilization that might pre-date the Western world. Despite being laughed at by the scientific establishment back home, Percy becomes obsessed/entranced with this lost city and returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case.

Z‘ is a film that would crumble if there was a single weak link in the chain both in front and behind the camera. Fortunately, the chain is strong as everybody is putting in some of the best work of their careers. Hunnam is incredible in the role and I hope he does more dramas rather than trying to become an action star. He is fully in tune with who Fawcett was to bring the man to life with intensity, but never lets him veer into hero territory. He is just a man that loves his family and has the determination and drive to do what he feels is necessary. Plus, Robert Pattinson, is unrecognizable in his role as Percy partner in his endeavors and is truly fantastic. And Sienna Miller and Tom Holland, who play Percys wife and son respectively, don’t let their limited screen time make any impact on the importance of their roles to deliver incredible performances. The movie would not have had me so entranced had it been a lesser actor in the roles. Also Holland, who is the current Spiderman in the MCU, is just a flat out star. I can’t wait to see him start landing larger roles because I believe this kid can do it all.

Director James Gray has given us a film that I’m sure will be studied in college film courses in just a few short years. It is an epic story that brings you along on the excitement of adventure, but is still intimate and quiet in its storytelling. It takes a true talent to be able to seam together a scene of bureaucratic back and forth about somebody wanting an apology then to a disagreement in philosophy between a father and son and then into the war zone of France in World War I all without feeling out of course. If there is one fault, it would have to be with the beginning. It does take some time for the movie to really find its footing and I felt that I was playing just a bit of catch up on where every character stands in terms of the purpose in the story. But, that went by quickly and I was lost in the journey.

I see a lot of movies. And most of what I see I tend to not think about again once I walk through my front door. Just because a movie was forgettable doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy watching it. Most movies are forgettable, but when the right one comes along that had incredible action or laugh out loud moments or made you think critically about the world around you it is something that connected just right with you. And I think any movie that affects you beyond the theater doors is something that truly defines what a movie should be. This film is directed, performed, shot, edited and scored beautifully. It is a movie that I will definitely be revisiting in the short future. It affected me more after I left the theater because I couldn’t get it out of my head. Job well done, I say.

A

The Lost City of Z‘ is directed by James Gray and is now in theaters nationwide

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