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Gravity (A Movie Review)

Updated: Sep 8, 2020


GRAVITY (2013)

Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and the voices of Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen, Paul Sharma, Amy Warren and Basher Savage.

Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón.

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

Distributed by Warner Bros. 91 minutes. Rated PG-13.

There are certain films that you know are so well made that you feel that you should like them more than you do. For me, Gravity is one of those films.

The movie is spectacular, disorienting, overwhelming and amazingly well put together. (It is particularly visually awe-inspiring in IMAX.)

It's also, I'm sorry, just a little bit dull.

Two people alone, floating through space, often separated from each other, rarely talking... The life and death stakes are huge, but the dramatic situation can't make up for an hour and a half in near pitch black with rather repetitive action and very little conversation.

I found my mind wandering, and in a story as vital and visual as this one, that should not happen.

I respect Gravity. It is an amazingly well made and gorgeously filmed and acted movie. It deserves the critical acclaim that it will undoubtedly receive. I would not be at all surprised to find the film right in the middle of the Oscar races next year.

I just wish I could say that I enjoyed the experience more.

The story is as simple as can be. Astronauts Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) are working on the Hubble space telescope when the explosion of a Russian space station sends masses of space debris right at them.

Stone is blown into space with no tether, she is literally floating through gravity with no way to get back to the ship. And even if she could, the debris has debilitated the spaceship.

How can they possibly make it back down to Earth?

Let me again stress, because it is definitely notable, that this film is spectacularly evocatively filmed. The special effects and sense of space are stunningly portrayed technically. A good ten-fifteen minutes of this film could be appreciated gorgeous artwork worthy of a museum.

And again, the story is as vital – as life and death – as is possible.

So why did Gravity leave me cold? I can't even say for sure myself. I truly and utterly appreciate the craft behind it. The acting was terrific, and the cinematography was stunning.

Yet, the plot eventually ran out of steam for me. Gravity would have made a stunning 30 minute short, but at an hour-and-a-half, it feels too stretched out.

It probably did not help that I didn't really buy into the climax, either.

Still, Gravity is definitely so much of an artistic success that it is definitely worthy of seeing, even if the story starts to drag well before the film's end.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2013 All rights reserved. Posted: October 25, 2013.

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