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GRAVITY (review)

Review by Caitlyn Thompson
Produced by Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
Written by Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Warner Bros. / Rated PG-13

I’ve seen something new here.

Alfonso Cuarón plunges us into a miraculous presentation of human survival in the simultaneously perilous and peaceful setting of space.

Gravity is a journey of finding ground when suspended in what seems like eternal grief.

It’s a spectacular visual experience that is heart wrenchingly raw and an innovative form of storytelling to be respected and awed.

Cuarón has achieved an inspiring feat in his artistic production. Gravity is what 3D is meant for: it illustrates the visceral feeling of claustrophobia in the infinity of space.

The director fully immerses you into the weightless setting by zooming in close to the actors with swarming cinematography and first person angles. The seamless execution of this movie generates awe and incredible tension.

Where momentum is the enemy, and every panicked breath taken is one less possible, Cuarón delivers ultimate horror and fear against a background so beautifully cathartic.

The director’s expert movement becomes even more mesmerizing through his arrangement of sound.

Cuarón presents the dizzying vastness of space with silence that can be meditative or perilous. From faint power drill vibrations and silent almost slow motion explosions, he uses different sounds to oscillate between fear and peace. We are enveloped in the machinery and nothingness with the earth as the beautiful anchor.

There is nothing to carry sound in space so he lets us marvel in the quiet stars and creates suspension with epic music.

The score is equally perilous or heroic, entrancing, cueing horror, distress, and most delicately, hope, in brilliant succession. The silence and soundtrack are intertwined with perfect fluidity allowing an uninterrupted journey with the characters.

As I said in the beginning, Gravity is a story of survival. About moving on from past and present tragedies, actively engaging the will and ability to live, instead of succumbing to depression and anticipating death.

The performances of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney illustrate the emotional phases of that survival odyssey with brilliant poise. Clooney’s Matt Kowalski, a veteran astronaut and charming as ever, is accepting of fate and is a grounded, humorous man (even in space). He actively engages in living. Bullock’s rookie Dr. Ryan Stone is sad and suspended in her work and past grief unable to stabilize herself (physically and emotionally) from the unstoppable (emotional and physical) momentum of her personal loss and fear. She doesn’t actively engage in life, she floats, and disaster determines her trajectory.

Gravity is a gorgeous and innovative perspective on loss and survival. It’s an introspective look at feeling alone and moving forward in the face of sadness and imminent death.

A beautiful production and character study rich with complexity, gripping and gorgeous from beginning to end.

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