Friday, October 4
Directed by Alfonso Cuarôn
2013 Sci Fi Drama
1 hour 30 minutes
From Warner Bros.
I am given to a certain locquaciousness, they say, if I am enamored of my subject. Check out recent postings on The Greatest Show on Earth and The Boys in the Band if you are in doubt. But this is likely to be my shortest dispatch on a film so far. It's not that I didn't like Gravity. Do note those three stars above. There just isn't a lot to say coupled with a thing or two I shouldn't say.
First off, it may seem as big as all space, but it's only a 90-minute film with essentially only two people whom we are watching just doing their jobs. I confess under these circumstances it's a good thing they weren't accountants, but there's little personal information discussed, there's no true relationship between the two, other than a work one, so what's to say? You already know it's about two people, an astronaut and a medical engineer, who try to survive an accident involving debris damaging, if not totalling, their spacecraft as they work outside it. How it proceeds from there is not for me to say. Go see it. You got 90 minutes.
None other than director James Cameron calls it the greatest space movie ever made. If we're considering space movies that are believable and not outright fantastical, I might have to agree. It was in 3D and what a good thing that was. I was dodging that damned debris right and left. When George reached out to grab some tool, I thought he was gonna pat my cheek.
It can certainly be said that I felt transported into space and for the most part, it was downright creepy. I would certainly have soiled my space suit. Much of the brilliance in capturing space lies with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. I am already jazzed to think of this man walking across the stage and collecting his Oscar. The images are truly breathtaking... literally. Isn't gasping the taking of breath? I gasped. I admit there were times I imagined this being shot on the biggest sound stage on the Warner lot, but the realism should warrant a prize for those technicians who created what I saw.
For director Cuarôn this was obviously a labor of love. It shows. As director of such films as Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y Tu Mamá También and Great Expectations, he said he has always wanted to be a director and an astronaut. Is there any doubt why this film was a labor of love?
He put his two actors, who have been good friends for a couple of decades, through a lot, particularly Bullock. Bet she went home black and blue a few times and feeling that she left her stomach back on that sound stage.... um, I mean space. I would not fault the acting of either performer but that's not to say I think there was anything out of this world (pardon the pun) about it either. Both displayed the requisite amount of heavy breathing and sweating and reacting to peril. They were workmanlike performances. This is a film clearly about the visuals.
My hunch is this will be a hot ticket item for Warner Bros. If the previews weren't exciting enough to get folks into the theaters, then word-of-mouth should do the trick.