A Science Fiction Action Movie With A Heart, Go See “Gravity.”

A Science Fiction Action Movie With A Heart, Go See “Gravity.” October 6, 2013
The normal day at the office is about to get more interesting…

You, and your entire family, will be the richer for it. Empty nesters? Go see it. Newly weds? Go see it. Single, unattached, and happy with that? Go see it. Parents of a young family? It may be too intense for your young ones, but get a sitter and go see it.

Better Catholic bloggers than I am are recommending it heartily. You should listen to them. Barbara Nicolosi, one of my blog neighbors (who is slumming, what with folks like me are around) has this to say about it over at Church of the Masses,

I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say this before, but I have never had a movie experience anything remotely like what Gravity provides. If only because it is the most purely cinematic non-animated movie ever made, Gravity deserves to go down in history. It is a thrilling piece in which the spectacle never stops, but because the spectacle is serving the story at every moment, the movie works. Visually gorgeous, packed with thrills and heart, Gravity is a thoroughly stunning achievement and ought to win Best Picture for the decade as far as I am concerned. If it doesn’t win for Sound Mixing and Editing, I will personally picket the Academy.

I say it is purely cinematic, because there aren’t a handful of minutes in the whole piece that could have been achieved in any other medium except cinema. This isn’t a story that could be told in any other way than on the screen, and that is a rare and wonderful thing.

Indeed. Another of my neighbors, Tony Rossi of Christopher Close-up, had this to say.

Cinematically and storywise, “Gravity” is a harrowing tour de force in which Murphy’s Law repeatedly produces the worst possible circumstances. I wasn’t sure that tension could be sustained in a film with just two main characters floating around space, but director Alfonso Cuaron – who also co-wrote the script with his son Jonas – accomplished the impossible in both his visuals and the action movie-like intensity that doesn’t let up until the very end. Cuaron alternately makes you feel overwhelmed by the vast infinity of space, where there is no air and no solid ground – and claustrophobic within the confines of life-saving space suits and ships.

And what’s even more impressive is that he does it in 90 minutes. It was such a pleasure seeing a film that wasn’t bloated beyond necessity. “Gravity” tells you a compelling story without extra fluff. Everything on-screen is important.

Beyond that, there’s much more to the film as well. Though it’s not artsy-fartsy by any means, the space Stone must travel to find safety is also a metaphor for the mental and emotional journey she’s on in order to rediscover the will to live. The silence she wanted in the beginning becomes a curse when her communication with Kowalksi suffers a temporary interruption. And her connection to earth is also destroyed when they can no longer hear orders and updates from Houston.

On the strength of these two reviews alone, I packed everybody into the car and headed to the theatre. I didn’t even bother to check my go-to source. The one that 9 out of 10 times has kept me from experiencing cinematic buyers remorse (which can get expensive these days): Metacritic.

Trailer time.

If you liked Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you’ll enjoy this film too. The film did not disappoint.

This morning, I wandered over to their website, and I’m happy to report that the folks at Metacritic, using their algorithms to pull together reviews from vast and disparate sources, scored the film with what may be the highest ranking that I personally have ever seen. Would you believe a 96 out of 100?

Go see it. It’s like a rollar coaster ride that provides more than just visceral thrills. It’s like Matt Zoler Seitz says at RogerEbert.com,

For all its stunning exteriors, it’s really concerned with emotional interiors, and it goes about exploring them with simplicity and directness…If anyone asks me what “Gravity” is about, I’ll tell them it’s a tense adventure about a space mission gone wrong, but once they’ve seen and absorbed the movie, they’ll know the truth. The root word of “Gravity” is “grave.” That’s an adjective meaning weighty or glum or substantial, but it’s also a noun: the location where we’ll all end up in time. The film is about that moment when you suffered misfortune that seemed unendurable and believed all hope was lost and that you might as well curl up and die, and then you didn’t. Why did you decide to keep going? It’s is a mystery as great as any in physics or astronomy, and one we’ve all grappled with, and transcended.



The film is now Crescat approved. Beautiful Space, Beautiful Life: A Review of “Gravity.

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  • jesspinosa

    Because of George Clooney’s political affiliation, I have been avoiding his movies. I will make an exception for Gravity because of all the rave reviews. I hope I will not be disappointed – even seniors like me pay too much money for first-run movies nowadays so it better be good!