Sunday, November 3, 2013

Movie Reviews: Gravity (2013)

It takes a talented actor to be able to hold focus when they are the only person on screen for large stretches of a film, as Tom Hanks did in Cast Away, Ryan Reynolds did in Buried, and Adrian Brody did in The Pianist.

Sandra Bullock absolutely pulls it off in one of the most riveting performances not just of 2013 but of all time.

The cinematography is breathtaking, and the special effects are beyond amazing. Gravity will absolutely make my nomination list for both awards, as well as for Best Film of 2013.

But it is Sandra Bullock who makes this film. Every movement and facial expression is so nuanced, so carefully choreographed, so brilliantly orchestrated. At the first Cosmo Awards, Bullock was nominated for Most Overrated Actress of All Time. I thought that was a bit much at the time. But I have to believe that even her harshest critics will have to change their minds now. The Cosmos were on hiatus when Bullock won an Oscar for The Blind Side. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s well deserving of a Best Actress Cosmo nod this year.

George Clooney is perfectly affable in his role. It’s possible he might make my list for Best Supporting Actor, though it could be a competitive year. But this is no ensemble film and, pun somewhat intended, Sandra Bullock sucks up all the oxygen and there’s no room for anyone else.

I am not, in general, a big fan of the over-use of 3D effects these days. And I can find it distracting to watch a movie on an IMAX screen. So often, I feel like I have to move my eyes back and forth to take in everything. But I found with Gravity that sitting near the back row helped me see the full screen, and the filmmakers used the 3D technology wisely and carefully.

In trying to rate this film, I was leaning towards 4 ½ stars. But in trying to articulate its flaws, I honestly couldn’t think of anything germane.

Rating: 5 stars

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