Every year movies come out and jockey for which will take home the coveted Best Picture category at the Oscars. Most years it comes down to a top two and it adds to the suspense of which will win. Other years it could be anyone's game and those are really exciting to watch for Oscar nerds like me. This year's Academy Awards will be one of the most boring on record. I not only feel sorry for every single movie that comes out trying to win Best Picture, but I feel bad for all movies that have that in common with each other for years to come. The reason why is that Gravity is so good that it will obviously win Best Picture (and yes, that's without seeing the other films yet) but it will also be what future films get compared to for quite a while.
The last time we saw Alfonso Cuaron behind the camera it was in 2006 with Children of Men, a movie that didn't get the respect it deserved at the time but has gone on to be one of the more respected films of that genre. Despite his limited filmography, he's a director that people anxiously await a project from because he is probably the best of the magicmakers of Hollywood. Sure, there are great directors out there that make amazing pictures but Cuaron does things with cameras that you have not seen before and makes you wonder how he did it. That has never been more true than it is for Gravity.
The movie is simple; George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are the victims of a horrible accident in space and try to save themselves after their space shuttle is destroyed. That's it. It's a cast of two people (unless you consider Ed Harris who is only the voice of Houston control). Even if you think that's boring you have to admit that you're interested to see how they make this a 90-minute-long feature film. Not only do they easily fill that time, but you're begging for it to be longer.
This is one of the very rare films that is made a million times better by seeing it in 3D, and I'd imagine IMAX will only increase the expierence further. You witness camera trickery that makes even the most jaded of film nerds say, "how the f**k did they do that?!" It starts with a 25-minute-long take that is not only jaw-dropping, but gorgeous as well. After it's over you think that it can't possibly get any better than that but it does...SO much better. If you can respect and appreciate any element of filmmaking it is impossible to not be in total astonishment at what is happening in front of you.
Can you still enjoy Gravity if you're not a film buff? Absolutely. Bullock, who I am not a fan of at all, gives the performance of her career in a script that seems emotionally detached for the first half but makes you so inspired by the end that you spend the last ten minutes with a tear that hangs out on your lower eyelid and doesn't fall until the final seconds all aided by a musical score that would give goosebumps to the dead. It's also the only film expierence I've had in recent memory that simulates a ride. By the time the film is over, your body will be sore from your muscles tensing and anxiety rushing through your nerves.
Usually when it comes to movies, if someone disagrees with me I'm fine with that. However, Gravity is a masterpiece that is so amazing on every level that I hate people who hate it. As I left the screening there were some yahoos telling the studio representative how much they disliked it. I don't know what the hell they wanted? Aliens? A love story? A bad guy? Whatever it was, they didn't get it and I'm fine with that because Gravity exists and it will forever. It's one of the few films that I wanted to watch again the second it was over. Perhaps this could be the ONLY reason someone should by a 3D TV just so you can continue to enjoy it when it comes out on blu-ray.