Thursday, November 07, 2013
The film Gravity has turned out to be a huge box-office hit ($200+ million) and crtical favorite, an unusual bright spot in Hollywood's fall box office, when more serious, dramatic films that vie for Oscars and other awards are released. But Gravity is also a realistic contender for end-of-year awards, with an impressive pedigree of the people involved with the production. It is directed by an Oscar-nominee Alfonso Cuarón (who co-wrote the script with son Jonas) and starring two popular Oscar-winners Sandra Bullock (Best Actress for The Blind Side) and George Clooney (Best Supporting Actor for Syriana).
Gravity has received some of the best reviews of the year, with a 97% rating (87% from audiences) on rottentomatoes.com. Interestingly, it is also one of the rare movies released in 3-D which most people seem to think takes advantage of the new technology in a way that justifies the ticket price hike.
I saw Gravity at one of the best theaters in Los Angeles (the Arclight Cineramadome) in 3-D and enjoyed it immensely. The film is quite immersive, with a cast that basically consists of only Bullock and Clooney. The story is set in space, and depicts a disaster that occurs while their characters are doing a space walk on a Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble telescope.
Gravity has stunning visuals and a suspenseful (if somewhat far-fetched) plot that left me with my pace elevated and on the edge of my seat. Some have criticized the film for scientific inaccuracies in the depiction of orbital mechanics and logistics of living and working in space. But for the vast majority of viewers, including yours truly, Gravity is the first movie which really makes you feel like you understand what it is like to be in space, and it is both exciting and terrifying.
Although the film stars both Clooney and Bullock it is really carried by Bullock who if she had not won her Oscar in 2010 would probably be a lock to win this year and is almost guaranteed to be nominated for her performance as Dr. Ryan Stone. It is Dr. Stone's first time in space so she is the person who the audience identifies with (since it is our first time in space also). Clooney plays Matt Kowalski, a veteran space captain who is on his very last mission and he is the person both Ryan and the audience look to for help and reassurance when things go awry early in the film.
Overall, Gravity is an amazing cinematic experience that one should not miss, and one that most people will remember for quite a long time after they leave the theater.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón.
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
Release Date: October 4, 2013.
Viewing Date: October 10, 2013.
Overall Grade: A (4.0/4.0).