After months of promotion, teasing and thrilling audiences with trailers alone, Gravity is finally here. Opening nationwide everywhere on Friday, the movie has everyone talking. And with reason. It succeeds where many films have failed. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, this movie is one that will stick with you for a long time. Here’s why…
With a 91-minute running time, Gravity may be the shortest movie nominated for Best Film of the Year at the 2014 Oscars. Other major films this year are clocking in well over that: 12 Years A Slave (134 minutes) and The Hobbit 2 (est. 160 minutes). While length may not seem like a big deal, it is for this film. Gravity doesn’t stall at any point, keeping the story tight and moving along at a brisk pace. The amazing action sequences are kept to a minimum giving you a real time effect unlike the unnecessarily long battles sequences, say, in Man Of Steel.
Within minutes of the film, you become immediately aware that something is not right. You’re on edge waiting for that thing to happen to Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s characters. The tension builds, and builds and builds until finally you suddenly have the urge to scream as you watch Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) spin out of control, losing her grip on anything that might prevent her from hurling into space. The film, while not a horror flick by any means, plays on a number of fears. Just pick one that frightens you the most: acrophobia (heights), agoraphobia (open spaces), astrophobia (outer space), claustrophobia (small spaces), etc.
While there are a number of fears that creep through, the film does awe. The IMAX and 3-D are used to maximum effect giving you a sense of scale and beauty while suspending you in space from point of view of Dr. Stone. The action sequences are some of the most visually stunning moments in recent history topping anything that Avatar has done with special effects. You literally spin around with the characters and feel like you’re right inside the destruction taking place on screen. Never has a movie been so beautiful and so frightening at the same time. Just don’t forget to breathe.
Even though George Clooney shares top billing, the movie really belongs to Bullock. Unlike Tom Hanks’ exhausting and emotionally-derived role in Castaway, Gravity keeps Bullock at bay, letting the movie do the work. However, director Alfonso Cuarón does give her the time to shine. The moment when her character fights to live, you fight with her. For anyone who thought her Oscar win for The Blind Side was undeserved will have to rethink their opinion on Bullock by the end of this movie.
It’s not Castaway!
Anyone who describes Gravity as ‘Castaway in space’ is doing a disservice to you and the film. It’s far from that. Castaway looked deep into the psyche of one man as he survived on an island over several years. In Gravity, the film goes for the jugular, putting its main characters on the verge of death and forcing them to fight their way back to life. Its length gives it a real time effect, putting you in the action has it happens. There’s no time for campfires, luaus or volleyballs.
With all that said… If there’s one thing that’s could this film’s the downfall is all the hype (this post included). Leading up its premiere, the film has steamrolled the competition. All anyone can say is that this is the best film of the year. But they are right. Everything written above should be viewed as reasons why this film should (and will) be nominated for an Oscar, if not multiple ones. Trust us when we say you should see this movie. It’s worth every penny.
[Photo: Warner Bros., GIFs: Stacy Lambe/VH1]