REVIEW: Gravity

I don’t see movies at the theatre very often anymore.  Honestly, it’s just too expensive.  And I really don’t see movies when they open (except the Harry Potter movies – those were a big exception for me).  There’s rarely anything I want to see so badly that I can’t wait for the DVD.  However, Gravity was one movie I really felt I needed to see on the big screen AND on the day it opened.

I’m so glad I went with that feeling.

I chose the 2D showing rather than 3D.  I have an aversion to those funny glasses.   They do funky things to my eyesight.  Plus, stuff flying at me from the screen makes me a bit nauseous. I considered 3D for this one, but opted out.  Again, I’m really glad I did.  While I don’t suffer from vertigo, I am not fond of heights…3D would have freaked me out.  Although, if you’re a fan of 3D, I think it’s probably spectacular.  I’ll let others comment on that.

I won’t go into any kind of detail regarding the movie itself (plot, etc.) because that would just lend to spoilers.  “No Spoilers!” I always say.  But, what we all know from the trailer is this:  it takes place in space; catastrophic events occur; Sandra Bullock’s character – Ryan Stone – is floating around in space.  There.  Short and sweet.

This is Bullock’s movie.  All hers.  George Clooney (Matt Kowalski) provides his typical charming support.  He’s very good, but even he had to take a back seat to Bullock.  For this role, it seems as if Bullock brought this character forth from the inside, out.  She stripped herself bare and let us really see into Ryan Stone.  We’re carried along with Ryan – gasping for breath, tumbling through the void, stretching to grab onto anything within reach, facing defeat, finding determination to struggle on.  But the journey we’re taken on is not through space.

While many might label Gravity an action movie, I would put the action in the film as secondary.  This is a movie about triumph of the will.  The tagline of the movie is “Don’t Let Go.”  The image on the poster might lead one to believe that the tagline refers to the physical “not letting go” – a literal tethering to something solid to keep oneself from drifting away.  But it’s really so much more than that.  So, yes, while Ryan needs to be tethered physically to Matt or to the shuttle or to the space station to stop the flat spin into the nothingness of space in order to live, she also needs to find a way to tether herself emotionally to survive, as well.  Bullock does such a fabulous job of juxtaposing the physical and the emotional in this film.  It’s subtle. It’s deep.  It’s beautiful.

If Bullock doesn’t end up with more nominations come awards season, I’ll be mightily surprised.

Speaking of nominations, I truly believe this movie should (and likely will) be nominated for some technical awards, too.  The cinematography was fantastic. The special effects were amazing.  So amazing, that I completely forgot that they were special effects.  Sound design?  Oh, My Giddy Aunt!  It was superb. The silence, in my opinion, was another supporting character in the movie.  Have you ever seen the movie Armageddon?  You know, the movie with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck.  Remember the scene on the asteroid when they are trying to dig that 800 foot hole so they can drop in the atomic bomb?  It was pretty loud, wasn’t it?  The grinding of the drill?  The the revving of the motors?  The sound of the asteroid fragments whizzing past their heads?   Yeah, well, guess what?  Sound doesn’t carry in space.  In Gravity, they get it right.

If you’re on the fence about seeing this movie, don’t hesitate.  Jump off that fence to the side where your local cineplex is located.  Then keep an eye out for the opportunity to pre-order the DVD.  It will be worth it.

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: Gravity

  1. Great review Carleen! I don’t typically go to movies either…but maybe I will make this a part of my fun date night plans. As always, I enjoyed your blog, very conversational.

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