After recently posting my top 5 films of 2013, a couple of people asked why I hadn’t included ‘Gravity’ on the list – I hadn’t seen it. I watched ‘Gravity’ last night and everything I’ve heard is correct, it’s an undeniably great film. Gravity knocks you on your ass in the first 10 minutes and tells you to buckle up for the ride, and it delivers on this over and over again. The scope and ambition of the film is amazing, held together by a deceptively intricate plot. And the way the story is delivered – there’s no glashback, no blatant exposition, it’s a straight up story starting from A and going to B, allowing the viewer to get drawn into it’s complexity and intruigue.
Everything about ‘Gravity’ is well done and the performances are pitch perfect. It’s amazing to think Sandra Bullock was the goofy damsel in distress in ‘Speed’ and the tomboy in ‘Miss Congeniality’ and now she’s here. Her Oscar winning performance in ‘The Blind Side’ was well deserved, and I suspect she’ll be up for another for ‘Gravity’. The fact that we know her from these different roles yet she is so totally believeable as the doctor in ‘Gravity’ is testament to her ability. She conveys emotion from hopelessness to happiness without ever over-doing it or losing character authenticity and is a big part of the film’s success (I’ve read that Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman were both, at different times, attached to ‘Gravity’ – I can’t imagine either being as good as Bullock is). Clooney too is great as the in-control veteran.
One thing I’d noted when talking to people about ‘Gravity’ is that no one tells you much about it. No one explains the storyline or what happens – I think that’s because it’s an almost un-spoilable film. Like, I could detail the whole film for you, scene by scene, right here, and it would make no difference. Explaining it will not do it justice, telling you about it won’t make any difference. ‘Gravity’ is a film that needs to be experienced, probably multiple times. In this, director Alfonso Cuaron has created something that underlines why cinema is still so vital. It’s a work of art, from start to finish, and will capture the imagination of viewers for years to come. The soundtrack, the set design, the detail, the cinematography – everything is right in ‘Gravity’. It’s a near perfect film.
And I love that Ed Harris was back working at mission control, too.