It seems like every time I review a documentary, I start off by saying, "I don't watch them very often" or, "I'm not a big fan," but by not watching them very often--and by picking ones that aren't insanely depressing or Michael Moore-ish--I enjoy them when I watch them. Man on Wire is no exception. Even though the movie's cover clearly tells you the result, the director did a great job building suspense and keeping me excited about the prospect of a man walking on a wire between the Twin Towers. Here's the trailer:
One of the more interesting parts of this film is seeing the two towers being built (they've got footage) and then watching Petit walk between them. Something I would've loved to have known was how Petit felt when he heard the news that the two towers had fallen. Obviously, as a French funabulist, he must have a unique perspective (see, my circus vocabulary comes in handy!).
An element that is key to this or any documentary is primary-source footage, of which Man on Wire has enough to make it feel genuine. Although I usually despise reenactments, the ones in this film aren't as cheesy as I thought they might be. Plus, the [recently conducted] interviews with all of the "actors" provides a unique post-event perspective, while also adding drama and suspense.
Final Grade: B+/A-
Blurb: This is almost as good as [fellow documentary] Deep Water, but falls just a little short, possibly due to less-than-stellar editing. However, Man on Wire is still an interesting film that you should watch if you're in the mood for a documentary.