Film by film, Gray is becoming a truer, more effective version of the filmmaker inside him.
To really appreciate "The Lost City of Z," it would help not to consider its hero a complete idiot.
The jungle scenes, shot in the Colombian rain forest, convey an oppressive sense of an alien land where Fawcett and his teams of fellow explorers are unwelcome intruders.
The never-ending jungle proves perfectly suited to the filmmaker's lush, operatic aesthetic, as does the film's central theme of escaping one's background, through whatever means necessary.
It's a bold journey and it's a little bonkers, but like Fawcett, "The Lost City of Z" is admirable in its resilience.
Hunnam expertly conveys Fawcett's bravery, spirit and sometimes reckless nature. At times we sense even he knows he might never find absolute proof of the City of Z - but he'll die trying if he must.
The Lost City of Z eschews multiplex formulae in favour of the jungle of the mind, a much more fertile place to explore.
The movie is long, but never slow, even as it leaves ample time to survey the breathtaking vistas captured by cinematographer Darius Khondji.
Gray is making the type of intelligent movies that no major studio will currently invest in. It's their artistic loss and our gain as Amazon and other streaming services step in to fill the gap.