Posted by: greercn | November 12, 2013

Gravity 3D

You’re an astronaut? You’ve seen this in person. Skip this film.

For the rest of us, “Gravity” is the closest we’ll get to the feeling of watching the earth from space, outside of our dreams.

Scenes that wow your senses grip your attention from the very beginning. “Gravity” is aimed at people who grew up with the space race although just about everyone else will love it too.

At a very refreshing and quick hour and a half in length, this magical movie offers a great and brave vision. And it’s fun to watch.

The science is – well – not so accurate. But my inner picky pedant was silenced by the profound beauty on screen.

Yes, there are lots of ideas taken from other films. “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Duncan Jones’ beautiful “Moon” and “Sunshine” all have echoes here.

The familiar voice of Ed Harris will remind you of “Apollo 13” too, with some ironic twists.

Oddly, it’s more a thriller with a great big message about peace and working with others than it is a traditional sci-fi movie. Alfonso Cuaron made the brave decision to light the faces first and add in the space travel scenes afterwards. This keeps the focus on the human drama.

Costing more than $100 million, it’s already taken more than $200 million in the USA alone. Just for once, you’re watching a film that will appeal to just about everyone.

If you’ve never thought that the entertaining and ubiquitous Sandra Bullock could carry a serious film, think again. You may forget to get cross about the entirely surplus back story they give her as she owns the emotions that move you here.

With just Bullock and George Clooney to stare at, you’re pulled between the people, the situation and the great big world of outer space.

Yet it all feels very intimate and personal. Trust me, you’ll love it. The whole audience at a packed Stratford East Picturehouse oohed and aahed, as did I.

The 3D adds lovely layers of depth. I reached for a screwdriver floating by, before I realised it was just an illusion.

Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography, Mark Scruton’s art direction and Andy Nicholson’s production design all deserve Oscars. Cuaron should get one too as so much here manages the trick of feeling original and familiar. Cuaron’s editing work with Mark Sanger reaches astonishing levels, too.

Do see it, even if you hardly ever go to the cinema. And pay the extra for the 3D. It’s worth it. Truly, “Gravity” has the type of depth that justifies the title, even if there isn’t any gravity in space.

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Responses

  1. Beautiful movie, no matter what anybody says. However, what it is that I’m saying is that the script was very weak, and really brought down the movie with itself. Good review Greer.

  2. What an interesting comment. I admit that the only time the script annoyed me was with the stupid back story they gave Bullock’s character. Clearly, women need an emotional and painful reason to go into space whereas men can just be adventurous. I liked the absence of script and the views just wowed me. I’ll think about your comments and thank you!

  3. While it pressed all the right emotional buttons, scary music in tow, in retrospect, it was nothing but a time-occupier. No script, little character, no plot. Imagine that 2 astronauts on the same flight know absolutely nothing about each other past their names! Reminded me of Aliens. Isn’t is amazing that American and Russian and Chinese space capsules are all poured out of the same mould.

    • Yes, but it has such an aesthetic sensitivity and the values of my adored thrillers, so I forgive it the bad science and the bringing together of the space/thriller genres. Yup, in space we have no difference in nationalities. Cool concept. I just love it and was much more entertained than you, Sam. Thanks for a great comment!

  4. Actually, Singlestar, the design of the Chinese Shenzhou capsule was based on the Russian Soyuz, so not amazing at all.

    Saw it in 2D (can’t be doing with those glasses), but still stunning.

    • I LOVE those glasses! But I respect your reasons for raging against the dying of all light, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas. Thanks, Nige, for your thoughtful comment.


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