I Saw A Film Today… Gravity
It is just a movie. Seriously. It is a fictional work of art that progresses at twenty-four frames per second. I’ve always took issue with people who have to nit-pick about the factual aspects of a film, such as Gravity. I understand that factual consistency is important, but when you start whinging about whether satellites travel east to west or vise versa, you’re the equivalent of the guy who fact checks everyone at a party. Why is a bio-medical engineer installing a piece of hardware on a satellite? Well, people invent stuff- does it matter what title their profession is? As I go through famed Pluto hater and scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson’s critical tweets of the film, I realized most of his snide “questions” could have been answered if he would have been paying attention to the film instead of analyzing the miniscule. Maybe there is an article in this somewhere…
Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandy Bullock) is on installing a panel that she invented on the Hubble Telescope. She is accompanied by veteran space walker Matt Kowalski (Georgie Clooney) when they receive a report from Mission Control (voiced by Ed Harris) about a debris field coming their way. When the debris destroys their shuttle and the crew, Matt and Ryan are in a race against time to travel to a Chinese Space Station with an escape pod to earth before the debris returns.
Gravity is, without gilding the lily, ninety minutes of near perfection. It’s a testament to the beauty of minimalism. Films with simple concepts are bloody difficult to pull off, but when done right they are true works of art. The above synopsis is pretty much the entirety of the premise of this film, with a few “spoilers” omitted. It makes for a heart-wrenching, nail-biting, and compelling tale of the fight within humanity to survive, even when the odds are stacked.
Why this film works is because of many variables, and all are under the skillful fingers of director Alfonso Cuarón. He has crafted a truly terrifying and thrilling tale. This film is not only a edge-of-your-seat experience, it is enough to make you cringe with its ironically claustrophobic moments of pure chaos. Time seems to freeze when Dr. Stone floats through space without certainty that she will ever stop. It takes you on a ride intensely for a full ninety minutes, and then lets you stumble out of the cinema completely ravished and breathless.
But even with all the praise I have given this film, the most stunning aspect is its beautiful cinematography. The CGI is the best you will see up to this point in film. It is seamless and something to marvel and not notice at the same time. And I saw this in standard two dimensions. I’ve heard it is glorious in 3-D stereoscopic. Sure, Sandy B’s hair not moving in zero gravity may be a flaw (to some), but otherwise this is a masterpiece. There is a reason many of the biggest directors working today have such lofty praise for Mr. Cuarón’s film- because it is ahead of its time in many aspects.
This is, unquestionably, the best film in Sandra Bullock’s career. Her portrayal of Dr. Ryan Stone is gut-wrenching and fearless. George Clooney, on the other hand, seems eerily comfortable with this role. Together, they are a powerhouse of brilliant acting and emotion. Enough said I believe.
To make this simple- Gravity is one of, if not the, best film of the year.
Verdict: See it!
*Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images, and brief strong language. 91 minutes. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También).
**Poster by unknown. If this is your sweet piece of B-movie film poster art, let me know please so I can give you credit.
***Thanks to Cody for sharing this awesome experience with me. We’ll see it in 3-D bud. By the way, Cody has started his own awesome site. Check out Count Mecha for comics and films and anime and much more I imagine in the future.