The Lost City of Z
by Tony Medley
Runtime 140 minutes.
OK for children.
In 1906, British
explorer Lt. Col. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnan) was in a National
Geographic Society expedition to trace the source of South Americaís Rio
Verde River to its source. During the trip, he discovered pottery and
evidence of a lost city. Returning to London he got the assignment to
return and find out more. One of the people who accompanied him,
however, was wealthy adventurer James Murray (Angus Macfayden), who,
predictably, turns out to be a pain in the neck. Also accompanying him
is his aide-de-camp Henry Costin (Robert Pattison).
However, every time
he undertook one of these expeditions he left behind his faithful wife,
Nina (Sienna Miller) and their children for years at a time. Had I
needed to make the choice of spending years in a forbidding jungle full
of headhunters and poisonous snakes and rivers filled with Piranhas on
the one hand, and staying at home with the gorgeous Miller, well, I
wouldnít have had to think about it for more than two seconds. While the
real Nina was not an unattractive woman, she didnít look a thing like
Hollywood Star Miller, so Fawcett kept going back to his
jungle, leaving his wife and children alone for vast periods of time.
Whether it intended to or not, the film raises the question of what is
more important, family or career. I have my opinion but it's up to the
viewer to make his or her own judgment.
Directed with better pace than one might
have expected of a movie this long and written
by James Gray and based on David Grannís bestselling novel, the film is
far too long. But the cinematography (Darius Khondji) and locales are
captivating and the story compelling.