Gravity Review: This is Why We Watch Movies

Photo Credit: http://www.film.com/movies/telluride-film-festival-review-gravity

I can’t even begin to do justice to this film with whatever words I am about to come up with.

I wish there was a way to explain that from start to finish Gravity is an absolute masterpiece. But it is the nature of the masterpiece to be unable to do so. Gravity is a critic’s dream: the film that finally leaves us speechless.

I wish there was a way to explain that it is the simplicity of the story of astronauts Ryan and Matt (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, respectively) lost in space that makes this film so utterly human. How the accident happens that leads to their unfortunate circumstances hardly matters, this is a tale of survival.

I wish there was a way to explain the beauty and wonder of the camera movements as the characters float around space. You’ll wonder for a moment how it is possible this movie was even shot, but then you’ll get re-lost in the tension.

I wish there was a way to explain that for 90 straight minutes I was breathless, inching closer to the edge of my seat until we finally got one of the richest payoffs in recent cinema history.

I wish there was a way to explain the subtle nature of Bullock’s harrowing performance. She’s totally different from her last Oscar win, The Blind Side, which will likely gain her another.

I wish there was a way to explain that this is the most human sci-fi film made since 2001: A Space Odyssey. The two actually go quite well together, not just for the outer space setting but the delivery of message of what humanity is capable of and who we are as a species. They don’t have the same message, but they could make for a fascinating double feature in both the evolution of film itself and the perception of human nature from 1968 to 2013.

But alas, I don’t have the words. Gravity is THAT good.

So, you there, sitting at your computer. You’re either reading this wondering whether you should go see it or seeking out an opinion that matches your own after seeing it. I think by now you know my opinion. I love Gravity. I think Gravity is easily the best film of the decade so far and is a serious contender for the best film in several decades. Gravity feels like the reason film was invented.

What should you do about it? Go see it. Either for the first time, the second, or the tenth. That’s where I’ll be. Fighting other moviegoers for the most central seat in the next IMAX 3D showing. Lose yourself in the empty void of space. Let go. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

 

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