A celebrated American artist once wrote, “Gravity is working against me, and gravity wants to bring me down.”
This artist was John Mayer, and if he had any idea how mind-blowingly terrifying space is, he would take gravity out to dinner (nothing too fancy, just a hole-in-the-wall Italian place), send her flowers at work, kiss her on the Jumbotron at a Lakers game, travel to Cape Cod to meet her family at their waterfront estate, ask her father for her hand in marriage, propose to her on a gondola ride in Venice, plan her wedding according to her Pinterest board, agree to a morning ceremony (even though he looks better in black), promise to love her in sickness and in health, give her time to focus on her career before having kids, and give her the best damn years of his life.
Yes, gravity is a precious thing, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity does a hell of a job showing us how helpless we’d be without it.
Cuarón has tackled dystopian sci-fi with Children of Men, put a dark spin on the wizarding world in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, pushed ratings to the limit with Y tu mamá también, and captured the imagination of a girl while her father is at war in my personal favorite, A Little Princess. With Gravity, Cuarón proves there isn’t a movie genre in which he can’t excel.
Without giving away too much of the plot, Gravity follows astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (played by the heartbreaking and positively ageless Sandra Bullock – seriously, what moisturizer does she use?) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney in space is as glorious as it sounds). Let’s just say shit gets really real really quickly, and humans and space don’t get along very well.
I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that Cuarón has blasted through the boundaries of film as we knew them. The special effects aren’t just seamless, but intoxicatingly realistic. Innovative camerawork makes you feel like you’re in space, too, which is simultaneously breathtaking and scary as hell. The performances, Bullock’s in particular, will rip your heart out and feed it to your dog one moment, then have you actually fist-pumping in triumph the next. I was tense, sweaty, nauseated, terrified, teary-eyed, and awestruck, clutching my knees to my chest like a child. If you have the smallest window of an opportunity to see the film in IMAX 3D, I insist that you take it.
Leaving the theater, I understood what audiences in 1968 felt experiencing Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time. Yeah, it’s that good.
Gravity is not just a film, but an experience. It’s what going to the movies should be.
Catch Gravity in RealD 3D or IMAX 3D, now in theaters worldwide.