Warner Bros. Esperanto Filmoj, US
Release UK: 7th November 2013
DIR Alfonso Cuarón
EXEC Stephen Jones, Nikki Penny, Christopher DeFaria
PROD Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
SCR Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
DP Emmanuel Lubezki
CAST Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
The title comment, for my rather sour review of 2013’s hailed cinematic triumph (one which is appearing at the top of numerous top 10 polls), is by no means a dig at the outstanding visual effects, it is rather a prod at all the critics who so fancy the movie and think it even performs as a genuinely intuitive movie. You may have guessed, I felt something was amiss watching this movie. It matched my expectations of the incomparable and expertly digitally rendered three-dimensional space, but not to my expectations of the movie as an entity.
I want to start with the casting of George Clooney as some coquettish and deceitful hero. Did anyone else snigger in his or her seats at Clooney’s whacky acts? I presume the woman in the audience rather gazed into his twinkling eyes looking out through the gargantuan and portentous space helmets. Sandra Bullock does give a worthy performance however. For the confines of her character and the thespian oriented production, she does remarkably well.
In regard to what Alfonso Cuaron set out to achieve: a realistic and daunting portrayal of what lies in great vastness above, congratulations. It is a drama, not a sci-fi film (space is real) set in space, yet the drama is simply one imprudent thing going wrong to the next. The entire film is chastised by downfall; it is effectively one simple act. For the brief period we do see Earth, it looks more like Jurassic Park anyway. How it would have made my day if Sandra Bullock had got run down by a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex upon landing on our beautiful Earth.
The incident that sparks off the vendetta is due to shrapnel in rapid orbit of the Earth from asteroids colliding with numerous space satellites, it sounds perfectly logical. The logic is soon exhausted however; it appears that as Bullock’s character gets to each new station, the station is still standing regardless of being positioned in the shrapnel’s orbit. It is no surprise then that when the shrapnel comes back around for more it decides that this time it will take the station with it. How unlucky.
I don’t wish to comment any further on this film, it is a cinematic extravaganza indeed, but it is not a great film. Extravaganzas have existed adequately prior to Gravity, just not in space and not in the same foreboding tense. The film is not as good as everyone says it is and it certainly doesn’t deserve an Oscar for best picture (as many have argued), but by all means take home an Oscar for visual effects.
Watch the trailer below: