Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Nominated: Best Picture; Best Actress; Editing; Cinematography; Director; Music; Production Design; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; Visual Effects
I’d grown bored with all the praise and awards being thrown at Gravity as I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. However having finally got around to seeing the film in its entirety I now fully retract my previous indifference. Gravity is outstanding!!
The manipulation of sound is first-class on a difficult film as after all there is no sound in space. It makes for an interesting aural experience. You are very aware of every sound, more so than in other films where sound just fades into the background and seems to fill every moment. The silences add to the intensity and jeopardy of the situation the crew find themselves in.
Gravity is a lonely film. There aren’t many characters to begin with but by half an hour in that small cast has been whittled down to just one character, Ryan Stone. It’s a stunning and extremely emotional performance by Sandra Bullock who really carries the entire crushing weight of being adrift in space on her shoulders. Despite the situation Stone finds herself in being one of the most unlikely things to ever find yourself in (especially as I have no urge to go through the grueling training required to become an astronaut!!) you automatically sympathize with Stone’s ordeal. I can’t think of anything more terrifying than the events that unfold in Gravity. It is most definitely an Oscar worthy performance though who can say if Bullock will come away with the win especially after Cate Blanchett won the BAFTA (I did not see that one coming and now having seen Gravity understand that decision even less)
Now onto the subject of Visual Effects. That category contains some of my favorite films from last year like Iron Man 3 (Shane Black), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Peter Jackson) and Star Trek Into Darkness (J. J. Abrams), all of which have spectacular visual effects but if anything other than Gravity wins it will be a travesty. The visual effects in Gravity are exceptional and the level of technical skill required to bring this story to life believably is astounding. What a hugely talented team that really deserve to have their work recognized by everyone, not just the Academy!
Gravity, while being an incredible cinematic experience, reminded me that I really shouldn’t judge a film before actually watching it for myself. I should learn to stay away from reviews, avoid the hype and make up my own mind.