Gravity (2013) Review


Rated: PG-13

90 minutes

Written by: Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

An Apple Falls in Space; a spoiler-free review of “Gravity”

“Gravity” is a movie better left un-discussed.  Un-critiqued.  It is that rare alchemy of art and science fiction that leaves both Los Angeles and Peoria silent in awe, heads tilted back in reverence, in prayer.  “Gravity” is the film you were waiting for all this time, holding all those other tickets, on all those other Saturday nights hopeful in the dark.

“Avatar”.  “Life of Pi”.  “The Spirit”. Sure there are nits to be picked.  Always, there are.  It is, perhaps, overambitious (that Kubrickian ending).  It is, perhaps, anticlimactic (like Sandra’s own “Speed”, looking back that seems like an entirely different actress).  It is unapologetic.  It is that mortal sin, grandiose.  That four-letter word, philosophical.  Critiquing “Gravity” is not wrong, of course, so much as it is … beside the point. 

Experiencing “Gravity” for the first time (in IMAX) is the cinematic equivalent of a first kiss.  Gorgeous, human, unforgettable.  No one would critique their first kiss, even if it wasn’t perfect.  And yet the yearn to talk about it is unmistakable.  Unrelenting. 

So here we I sit (here I levitate, more like, for all my pretense and hot air) discussing a movie that demands comment but is best left un-discussed.  Begging you to see it, to experience it (in IMAX) while you can.  And hoping that when you come out you, like me, will just be happy to have been alive on this tiny rock when it was released.

“Gravity” is an ode to human nature, to human folly, to hubris, and, as if as an afterthought, to cinema proper.  To say more is to ruin a work of art for the viewer.  Like Emmanuel Lubezki’s “Tree of Life” this is a film that changes film and films audiences forever.