I read somewhere that Gravity will be the film that inspires future generations of filmmakers to pick up the tools of their trade.
I think this movie is more akin to the earliest examples of moving pictures that prompted cinema-goers to duck when a train rolled towards them in movie houses. It gives us, and the industry at large, a sense of how 3D could be used if a man with imagination was allowed to take the helm.
The reason why Gravity may be forgotten by future generations is that it does not tell a story. Not unless you think someone drifting in the emptiness of space is a story.
What Gravity is—and mad props to director Alfonso Cuarón, his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and the computer wizards at Framestore for realizing such a fully formed vision of life in space—is a spectacular cinematic achievement. This movie really needs to be seen to be believed.
Those of us who have been on an airplane know what it feels like to suddenly see the city we’ve lived in—sometimes for our entire life until that point—from up above. We know what it’s like to suddenly be high up above all that keeps us grounded, or shackled, to a certain way of life. Looking through those slightly foggy windows is often a calming experience for me.
The way Mr. Cuarón shows it, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are 372 miles above it all. From their vantage point they can turn their heads and look across continents. This is not a high-resolution, 3D point of view we are afforded very often. And it is spectacular.
But that is it.
There is a very ‘now we need some drama’ structure to the film which felt inorganic pretty soon after that impressive opening sequence. And that feeling just settled on me for the rest of Gravity’s runtime.
Final Analysis: If you are able to suspend disbelief that there really isn’t any more plot to this movie than the material you’ve seen in trailers for this film you might experience genuine moments of weightlessness – and the fear of the same – at certain points in the movie. But you may also feel a certain level of “so what” about the whole enterprise because really, in the face of the majesty of outer space, the plight of one little human lady seems…insignificant.
My Advice: If you are considering watching this movie, even a little bit, do so in 3D. And on the biggest screen you can find. That is the only way to experience Gravity.