Director: James Gray
James Gray brings serenity, soul and splendour to this real-life El Dorado adventure, assisted by a magnificent cast featuring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and an unrecognisable Robert Pattinson.
Adapting David Grann's nonfiction bestseller, director James Gray (The Immigrant, MIFF 2014) translates the story of Percy Fawcett to the screen in breathtaking fashion. Charlie Hunnam is a revelation as Fawcett, whose multiple forays into the Amazon in search of a fabled civilisation had a profound effect on the Edwardian-era explorer, and ultimately ended in a mystery as elusive as that of the much-mythologised city. As his supportive but underappreciated wife, Sienna Miller is at the top of her game, while Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland also excel.
Comparisons to Aguirre, the Wrath of God are inevitable but where Herzog's film was about madness and folly, Gray's is about the melancholy search for meaning and purpose; and, significantly, about family and sacrifice. It's more heart of domesticity vs destiny than of darkness. Executive produced by Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch, The Lost City of Z is epic and operatic in scope, intimate and haunting in detail, and ravishingly shot on 35mm by cinematographer Darius Khondji; it is an old-school silver-screen must.
'Words can't quite do it justice … James Gray, even as he pushes at the edges of what is filmable, never loses his capacity for creating moments of rapturous beauty. See this thing on the biggest screen you can find.' – Village Voice