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A bit of a downer for Gravity

SPOILERS: Not really. I have a thematic quibble that I’ll keep at the level of saying something like “Much Ado about Nothing is a great love story except for an implausible plot mechanism” or “I love the evening palette of Good Night Moon, but, wow, nothing happens.”

So, Gravity is really good and worth seeing on a large screen. (Terrific use of 3D, by the way.) The use of the camera to tell the story is amazing, on a par with Hugo or the Life of Pi (to name two recent films). There’s a scene near the beginning where the camera not only fluidly changes its position, but also changes our point of view: from omniscient view of the universe, to observing the world reflected in Sandra Bullock’s space suit visor, to coming inside the visor and seeing the earth, its reflection, the HUD and Bullock’s face, and then taking the point of view of Bullock herself. The director, Alfonso Cuarón, is amazing in his ability to convey situation, point of view, sensation, and narrative. Awesome!


..the plot is a bit predictable, the way (as my son pointed out) mountain-climbing movies can be. Worse, this space odyssey is wrapped around a sentimental journey that is entirely unnecessary to the film. In fact, I think it would have gone all the way to stunning if they had adhered to the old adage: In space, no one can hear your backstory.

Still, it’s easy for me to carp. It’s overall awesome. And how the heck did they shoot it? Gravity-free stunt doubles?

3 Responses to “A bit of a downer for Gravity”

  1. Fascinated with Cuarón ever since Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men…Children of Men especially. What he did with long shot perspective there was astonishing– every frame is filled with extraordinary details and visual references to Abu Ghraib, 9/11, ethnic atrocities, immigration abuses, other works of art. Endlessly inventive and humane. For me it was far more admirable than the PD James book that inspired it– the ways in which he chose to alter its characters and themes were absolutely inspired (There’s much to admire in James’ book but it’s so hopeless and misanthropic)

    So– eager to see Gravity but expecting some disappointment it isn’t more in the mold of those two films. Not that there’s anything wrong with making movies to thrill. Just so many more of those than Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men.

  2. another thing: Cuarón approached the “male hero” in such a unique way in CoM

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