Thu 26 Dec 2013
Almost every pre-Academy Awards season brings for me the big Hollywood movies disappointment. A big studios film, usually directed by famous or at least interesting directors, getting raving critical acceptance and breaking audiences records for the year or for the eternity. A few years back the name of the sensation was Avatar, last year there were two – Argo and Lincoln. I go, I buy my popcorn, I sit down with the best intentions of enjoying it, and … flop. When I exit the cinema theater I ask myself ‘Is this all?’. ‘What is the fuzz about?’.
Before you ask – yes, I have seen the 3D version in a well equipped cinema theater. I saw it in good visual and sound conditions and I was not enthusiastic at all about the cinematography and sound effects. I actually believe that cinematography was quite banal, and the few moments when some screwdrivers flew to our faces could not compensate for a film that takes place 80% in the open space – meaning open stellar space, and cannot provide even the National Geographic documentaries effects or emotions. The story is completely incredible from any point of view. If this is supposed to be science-fiction the science is completely flown, and the fiction non-credible. In other words, impossible on all grounds.
Neither can Sandra Bullock and George Clooney save this film. To their defense I should say that they are given a very clichee relationship to act. Clooney’s hero text actually provides some of the rare sources of emotion and fun in this film, but this is too little.
Alfonso Cuaron directed previously at least one science-fiction film I fell in love with – Children of Men. What a difference between the action-ridden and the human tension there and the routine stuff we get in Gravity. I can understand his attraction into making such a film, it’s a challenge for a director to film a story in either a small and confined environment or in the infinite space as here, and some of the greatest successes came from movies with theme like this. Unfortunately, he was not up to the challenge on almost any respect.
This will not prevent Gravity getting its plethora of awards, I am sure.