Saturday Light Fare: Gravity
Posted November 2, 2013on:
I don’t get the chance to see a lot of movies lately, but this past weekend my husband and I went to see “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and a hell of a lot of CGI.
The basic plot of the movie is that Sandra Bullock (Dr. Ryan Stone) is a brilliant scientist who invents electronic gizmo that helps improve something on a space station. Yada yada, not the point, just an excuse to get her up in space with George. So she goes through 6 months of training and goes up for about a week to try to fix the gizmo, desperately trying not to throw up from the zero gee and Clooney’s constant stream of wise-assery, when things suddenly…go…very….wrong.
This is Bullock’s movie, and she does a fine job of convincing us that Dr. Stone is actually in space experiencing terror and resignation in equally stomach-churning moments. I don’t think she is a wonderful actress or anything, but just like Clooney, she can give a great performance when she has a great director to pull it out of her. (Clooney is pretty much on auto-pilot in this movie, but to be fair, his character is only a foil for Bullock’s.) I would say Cuaron is one of those directors who can reach big stars and make them comfortable with exposing their vulnerability, which after all, is what we came to see.
The visual effects in this movie are truly stunning, especially in 3D. But surprisingly, the film is not just about “Wow, look at Sandra spin around in space!”. It’s about the emotional pull of those we love, which, like gravity, can either anchor us, or weigh us down until we can’t move. We slowly realize that for Ryan Stone, a recent loss has become too heavy to bear, making the gravity-free environment she lives in a cocoon, almost a womb, in which she feels empty of the need to connect, to feel, or even to go on living.
We root for her to survive the various thrilling and terrifying situations she goes through, but surviving isn’t enough. You have to allow yourself to be rooted to the earth, in order to soar to the heights to which life can elevate you.
This is an open thread.
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