Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. 90 mins.
Worth my time? Yes. (Seen at Arclight Hollywood)
Fuck, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a movie. I’m somewhat in the midst of a psychological rough patch, and I haven’t felt up to filmgoing as strongly as I usually do. Returning to the Arclight was long overdue, and I hope it’s a sign that I’m on the mental mend.
Alright, onto the movie. I can’t remember the last time something was hyped up to Gravity’s level (Bully, perhaps?). While it can’t touch its lofty expectations, Cuarón’s follow-up to Children of Men – his other sci-fi epic chock-full o’ long takes – is still pretty damn good.
I’ll get the disappointments out of the way first. The ending was too rosy (although maybe that says more about me than it does the film), but the largest flaw was in the unsatisfying philosophical progression of Sandra Bullock’s character and the film as a whole.
This won’t make any sense if you haven’t seen the film, so heads-up.
I was unconvinced that the tone could shift from bleak and existentialist to sunny and life-affirming so smoothly. Like most films that travel this road, it pigeonholes itself in “I cannot go on” territory, and then it shifts abruptly into “I go on” gear. I applaud the film for having more to chew on than most (nearly all) contemporary sci-fi, but it doesn’t quite work.
There’s lotsa good stuff though. The film is visually arresting with plenty of “How the fuck is that possible?” moments. If Emmanuel Lubezki doesn’t finally get his long-deserved Oscar for Best Cinematography, I’ma be miffed. Also, it’s a space epic that’s only 90 minutes long – I cannot stress enough how refreshing that is.
Aside: *rolls eyes at Ed Harris meta-casting *
Aside: The movie really kisses China’s ass.
(Seen and written on 2013-10-05)