Quite possibly one of the most stunning and beautifully simple films ever made.
There is little doubt that Gravity will go down in the great pantheon of films that shattered technological boundaries in visual storytelling, with the likes of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Titanic.
At the same time terrifying, beautiful, sentimental, and nerve-racking, the sheer scope and ambition of Alfonso Cuaron’s first film since Children of Men is breathtaking. Not only is Gravity a spectacle for the senses, it is grounded in a poignant story of one woman’s reflection on mortality, life, death, and the lengths humans will go to survive.
When an unexpected debris field demolishes the International Space Station, astronauts Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) must figure out how to survive on their own in space after they narrowly escape the disaster. Sandra Bullock has never been a particular favorite of mine, but Gravity shows her giving the most emotional and nuanced performance of her career. She may very well take home an Oscar for this performance. George Clooney is also as charming as ever as her partner during the ordeal.
It doesn’t aim to be anything more than a simple (yet visually arresting) story. And Gravity does just that: it succeeds in its simplicity. Gravity is a film where everything not only went right, but goes above and beyond: the subtle themes, the stunning cinematography, the spectacular visual effects, the powerful performances, the chilling musical score. It will baffle you as to how it was made as it simultaneously draws you in with its compelling storyline. It also may be the first film I’ve ever recommended seeing in 3D. The film was made especially for 3D, and masterfully uses it to completely immerse the audience into the setting of outer space.
Gravity is the type of movie that reminds me why I go to the movies, and why I chose to be a storyteller. All this praise sounds like an exaggeration, but it is an incredible achievement. Gravity demands to be seen in 3D and on the biggest screen possible. Anything less and you will be cheating yourself out of one of the most incredible movie-going experiences you will ever have.
Gravity is rated PG-13 for brief language and “intense perilous sequences.” While it doesn’t have much in the way of offensive content, it is a rather intense experience and is not very appropriate for young children who may get scared. Teenagers and up!
© Matt Tory, 2013.