14 November 2013

In Cinemas: Gravity

Hola! 

I should say, before I kick off the review, this is a film entirely about my worst fear. I willingly sat through a film about my worst fear because I am INSANE. Needless to say, this was a terrifying experience for me.


SO, I saw this bad boy:




And it was, without a shadow of doubt, one of the most incredible pieces of film I have ever seen. Ever. The story follows a rookie astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and her first mission with soon to be retiring veteran Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). What should be a routine mission goes terribly wrong after a Russian strike on a dead satellite leads to a deadly cloud of debris. Again, I don't want to give too many details because I feel like this is a film that you NEED to see. It is groundbreaking. Too often, 3D is used as a money-making scheme by Hollywood, with films converted for no need just to increase the box office takings. Here, it feels entirely necessary. For the first time since Avatar, I will say it is totally essential that you see this in 3D because this is INCREDIBLE. I know I'm using a lot of Caps Lock in this bad boy, but I feel that's the best way for you to understand just how BLOODY FANTASTIC this film is.

Visually, this is in a whole other league. Like, a league that hasn't even been invented yet. I've been a big fan of director Alfonso Cuaron for a long time, since Y Tu Mama Tambien (excellent film). Best known for one of the better Harry Potter entries, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, he steps up his remarkable abilities to a whole new level. Even if the storyline didn't grab you, the cinematography by the talented Emmanuel Lubezki and the direction would. This might be the most beautiful film I've ever seen. The opening shot is nothing short of phenomenal, a continuous 12 minute shot that captures the terrifying beauty of space and the total isolation. Watching Stone spin off endlessly into space, disappearing into the darkness is both fear-inducing and wonderful. And Cuaron makes sure that he makes the most of the 3D element. As a member of the audience, you feel like part of the environment as the objects float past your face. It's terrifying. One particular shot stands out for me, as Stone begins to cry and the tears float towards the audience. It is unbelievable. 

I could talk about the visuals for hours, but it's best we move on to the other awesome stuff. Like the actual story and the incredible cast. Like I said, I don't want to say too much about the story because it is quite a lean storyline. The film is largely about a woman who has isolated herself from the world--both physically and emotionally--fighting to bring herself back. And it is bloody tense. Even if I wasn't terrified by the vastness of space (shudder) I'd still be on the edge of my seat. You are so involved in the characters and the action, you'll leave the cinema with your muscles aching. The portrayal of the sheer determination of human survival is remarkable, and it has to be said, Sandra

Bullock is wonderful in this film. I've always held a little bit of a grudge, truth be told, that she won an Oscar for The Blind Side, because it wasn't a great film and, whilst she is lovely, it wasn't a winning performance. In this though, she is awe-inspiring. From the very first moment we meet her character, the detailing that she puts in is excellent. Whilst there isn't a great deal of character development (because let's be honest, how much development can be done with only one other actor on screen?) Bullock creates a fully formed woman to root for and to be amazed by, who finds her reason to live again.

George Clooney brings an essential bit of humour to his role as Matt Kowalski, the man who serves to remind Stone of the need for connection, and he is wonderful, but Bullock steals this film majestically. Casting wise, the likes of Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson were all attached at different points when the screenplay first got attention in 2010. The cast we got are far too perfect to even think about imagining someone else in the roles. 



I really can't praise this film enough. It is tense, terrifying, beautiful, wonderful and utterly jaw dropping. And you really should see it. If you have seen it, let me know your thoughts! Did you want to cry as much as I did?!


Peace out.

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