Country: USA, UK
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Music: Steven Price
Travel in India, but I will never miss any chance to experience a cinema-going activity in any exotic locale, not to mention it is Alfonso Cuarón’s GRAVITY, the sensationally topical follow-up to CHILDREN OF MEN (2006), a firmly prospective Oscar-bait and is on its way to procure an unanimous triumph from both audiences and critics, domestically and internationally, a rare feat which is hailed as the most innovative film in executing the ubiquitous 3D technology after AVATAR (2009).
I was at a relatively large 3D screen hall, but if you can find a screen with IMAX plus 3D, which is the quintessential option. The film runs a succinct 96-minutes, at first I found myself a bit distracted by the murkiness of the screen with the clumsy 3D glasses double-glazing my myopic spectacles, one primary reason why I don’t enjoy 3D films on the whole, so as to I didn’t quite adjust myself to appreciate the opening scene, thankfully a belated captivation comes when the debris attacks, this survival tale begins to gnaw at its audience in a very good and exciting way.
Floating in the infinite emptiness, the extremity of terror and helplessness is oppressive and overwhelming, Sandra Bullock confidently and believably pilots us into a journey of wonders, we don’t know what’s the odds here for her to pull it off the miraculous landing on earth, it is her relentless mettle and stamina shock us, inspire us and strike a chord with us. Bullock’s hallmark of underplaying her character’s choppy emotion does a clean sweep to deliver a top-notch impact in spite of a comparatively thin script, it is a tour-de-force performance in her career and a hard-earned honor for an actress who can overcome the glass ceiling to lead a commercially prosperous Sci-Fi fare in her age (what’s more important, she is also a top-billing comedian presently). Clooney serves slickly as the experienced but not-too-lucky astronaut, most of the time he is hidden inside the space helmet and uniform, but generates a wake-up call on the nose when he displays his usual Clooney-esque mien, Cuarón does know what audiences want.
GRAVITY is a ground-breaker, a high-tech adventurer and seeker, and fingers crossed it will eventually give DP Emmanuel Lubezki his overdue golden statue after 5 nominations (divinely shot scenes include the trademark ever-rotating long takes, the resurrection emblem of a fetus inside the uterus, the final victory when she rises out of the sea as a giantess, etc.), maybe for Cuarón and his sterling production team as well (sound department, art production and visual stunt). It is a film beyond everyone’s imagination and it edifies you so much with so little to tell, like an essay, it is concise but cogent, and with a collateral effect to blow your mind.
PS: I am planning a rematch when the picture will arrive at the end of November in China, hopefully in an IMAX screen finally.
Updated after a second viewing: finally GRAVITY arrives in China today and I re-watched avidly it in the most eminent 3D IMAX screen in People’s Square with my family (where I watched AVATAR 4 years ago), the second time is much enhanced by a far brighter and higher screen, also I chose a better seat this time, it is such an unprecedented experience for me, my hands sweat all the time while being flabbergasted by the sublime cinematography and immersed totally into the virtual ambience. I have no hesitance to upgrade a 9/10 to the film and what a physically-challenging stunt for Bullock to carry on the one-fold storyline with dearest pathos at the nadir and the ending when she finally sets her foot on earth, it is not only an individual’s legend, but an entire evolutionary trajectory as well, an ode to the enormous courage and wisdom of humanity, Bollock is my current win for BEST ACTRESS and I’m rooting GRAVITY for all the top honor in the upcoming Oscar race, a No.1 pioneer in this year’s cinematic innovation.