Yesterday I threw myself into one of the most challenging projects I've tackled in a long time. It involved multiple emails, phone calls, and increasingly complicated texts. I had to call in favors, shuffle around appointments, and impact other people's personal schedules. Ultimately, my logistical wrangling gave my husband and me just six minutes to get from one end of town to the other, but as we slid into our seats the very moment the lights dimmed and the previews began, it was all worth it. Despite circumstances that had greatly worked against us, my perseverance had paid off: we saw Gravity on its opening weekend.
Perhaps you're faced with a similar set of roadblocks to seeing this Sandra Bullock/George Clooney space thriller. Maybe you're wondering if the babysitter cost is worth it, and if the movie can possibly live up to the increasingly frenzied hype.
In a nutshell: yes. AND YES. Here's why you need to go see Gravity IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner.
It's visually phenomenal. You've probably heard that Gravity is a marvel of technical wizardry, and holy god, it really is. If you have the chance to see this in IMAX 3D, please do, because this movie isn't just something to watch -- it's something to experience. I haven't read up on the details of how director Alfonso Cuaron managed to make this happen, and I don't want to. I'm sure it involved millions of computers and thousand-dollar bills, but the results of these mysterious cinematic technologies is almost indescribably powerful. It's desperately beautiful, it's jaw-droppingly terrifying.
Sandra Bullock is amazing. George Clooney is a welcome addition to any movie, and he provides some much-needed comic relief in a particularly bleak moment (along with some sage advice that propels Bullock in more ways than one), but Bullock deserves all the Oscars for this. ALL THE OSCARS. Also maybe an Oscar for making 49 look damn good when she peels off her space suit.
You will cry. I mean, maybe you won't. But I did. Like, a LOT. It wasn't that it was horrifically sad, although there were certainly a few deeply emotional moments. It was that tears were my visceral reaction to being so affected by what was happening. This movie is so engrossing in a nearly physical way, you feel like you're there -- inside Bullock's helmet, inside her head.
You won't relax until it's over. I've seen some people worrying about the amount of anxiety this movie will trigger. It's true that it's overwhelmingly tense from start to finish, and dials all your senses up to 11. I found myself balling my hands in my lap, and occasionally keying in on the fact that my mouth was literally hanging wide open. But don't let the known suspense -- and, of course, the nightmare fodder of being lost in space -- keep you from seeing this. When's the last time a movie truly took you away, to the point where 90 minutes hurtles by in a flash and you stumble back out into the parking lot, blinking in confusion over the fact that you're on solid ground?
You will not care about what it 'gets wrong.' Everyone from armchair space nerds to actual NASA scientists have weighed in on what technically could or could not happen in Gravity. I guess there's a chance you'll sit there itemizing all the errors, starting with whether Bullock would really be wearing that hot yoga outfit under her pressure suit (short answer: no) and expanding to criticize the portrayed orbits, opening hatch mechanics, and various destructive chain reactions. But I'm guessing you'll leave all that crap behind in the interest of enjoying the ride. Gravity is not a documentary, but it is a work of art. And if you're really more focused on the scientific accuracy instead of the remarkable cinematic achievements in Gravity, then by all means, stay home and save yourself the cash. For everyone else, though: do yourself a favor by seeing this movie. It's simply breathtaking, in every sense of the word.
Have you see Gravity? Are you planning to?
Image via Warner Bros