In typically non-flashy style, James Gray tells the stranger-than-fiction real-life story of Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), a British soldier who spent decades in the early 1900s obsessed with finding evidence of an advanced civilization in the Amazon basin. Events of Fawcett’s life dictate an unusual structure which can feel a bit jarring, as segments alternate between his domestic life and various frustrated expeditions. Those repeated shifts between two worlds are crucial, however, to Gray’s own exploration of a regimented British social structure compared to the perfect meritocracy of surviving the “uncivilized” jungle. Hunnam sells that psychological journey with a compelling, improbable mix of zeal and British restraint, and the supporting cast is equally strong. It’s perfect for an underappreciated filmmaker to tell a story about how you don’t need fussy elites to decide for you that you’ve accomplished something remarkable.
Director: James Gray
Producer: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, James Gray, Dale Johnson, Brad Pitt, Marc Butan, Mark Huffam and Felipe Aljure
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Edward Ashley, Angus Macfadyen, Ian McDiarmid, Clive Francis, Pedro Coello, Matthew Sunderland, Johann Myers, Aleksandar Jovanovic and Elena Solovey