Gravity (2013)

October 12, 2013

Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men, Harry Potter & The Prison Of Azkaban, Y Tu Mama Tambien)

Astounding. Incredible. Those were my initial thoughts upon leaving the theater after watching Gravity, one of those groundbreaking films that will be mentioned for years to come as a visual effects pioneer. In fact, visually, Gravity just might be the most incredible accomplishment in cinematic history. It’s that good; and there’s never been anything like it. The film feels more like a 95 minute attraction you’d find at a high level amusement park. The only things missing are the seat belts and simulated movement. Otherwise, you might as well be in space with Ryan Stone, the rookie astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the best performance I’ve ever seen from her. There are no moments in this film where you’re taken out of the experience. Everything is so wonderfully, beautifully, and accurately shot that you never question that these people are operating in zero gravity. Little touches like chess pieces and tear drops floating out of the screen towards you only add to the authentic, weightless movements of the human characters. The 3D seriously adds to the experience and I can’t imagine that seeing it without 3D is even remotely as satisfying.

The story here isn’t particularly profound. As one of my friends who walked out after an hour so eloquently put it: “one hour of running out of oxygen.” It really makes me wonder if we were watching the same movie. The visuals are so stunning, earth looks so magnificent in the background, and the film is so intense, that one hardly even notices how little plot there actually is here. And honestly, in a film like Gravity, it’s not that important. The overall themes of dealing with loss, lack of self worth, and so on, take a back seat to the real show: the terrifying experience of being lost in space with absolutely no human contact and no solid game plan for survival. Could you imagine being so utterly alone? In Gravity you barely have to. It looks so real and the experience is so personal, it might as well be your own.

Gravity should be showered with nominations come award season and should be a shoo in for most of the visual awards. Alfonso Cuaron has directed the closest thing to a masterpiece that I’ve seen in a long while. The amount of care put into the shooting of this film and the attention to detail is so tediously given, the final product is astonishing. A true feat. For a film that’s essentially about getting from point A to point B without dying, I’ve never felt so personally invested in reaching that final destination. An extremely impressive film and an absolute must see in 3D in the theaters.

Replay Value: The lack of replay value might keep Gravity from becoming a true classic, but with 3D televisions more and more common these days, maybe that’s not true.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Gravity will be heavily nominated, probably in most categories, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. I doubt the script will get a nomination and I don’t think George Clooney is deserving, but this film should be a cinch for the Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Film Editing statues.
Nudity: None.

Grade: 9.5/10 (Phenomenal/Instant Classic)

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