Time for number five:
I have a little pseudo tangent before I get into a bit of the exposition of Gravity. When I watch rented movies I typically play on my phone while I’m watching them. Just something to give me a little more stimulation like Angry Birds or Clash of Clans. That didn’t happen with this movie.
The first five minutes of the movie I did what I usually do; a little web surfing, a little game play. But then the bottom dropped out. The really cool thing about this movie is that the narrative structure is a little post modern. Instead of half an hour of backstory we get the crew in the middle of a space walk. After about five minutes the inciting incident happens and the crew is hit with debris that destroys the ship and the crew except for two people. The whole experience made me put down my phone and pay attention to the screen.
Ok, now that is out of the way, Gravity is one of nine feature films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars on March 2. The film, directed by Alfonzo Cuaron, stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts in open space trying to get to an escape pod at a near by station after their vessel has been destroyed by debris.
To me, there are three ways to read the story: there is the literal, people in space trying to save their lives plot; there is a relationship view – the majority of the movie consists of two characters, one male and one female, careening through open space, trying to save their lives while attached to each other; and then there is the grieving angle – which really interests me.
Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone, lost her four year old daughter to a freak accident and is a grieving parent. She tells Clooney’s character, Matt Kowalski, that all she does now is wake up, go to work and drive – all somewhat isolated tasks that mimic her emotional state. The entire movie could be viewed as Stone working through the stages of grief to get to a point where she can stand on her own two feet again.
I went into Gravity thinking I wouldn’t like it. It was really hyped. The other films I watched so far were so good that I figured I was bound for one disappointment. Gravity’s special effects, cinematography, adaptable plot line and acting performances all make the movie worth while.
The movie was very much critically acclaimed and I now see why, earning a 96 out of 100 on IMDB’s metacritic. I’d also give the movie an A, but I don’t know if I would go so high (a surprising number of critics actually gave it a 100). The bottom line is this isn’t a movie you should pass up. You should probably buy it.