“Gravity”: *****, all in HD 3D

This movie has some of the make-do-and-mend of Apollo 13, and much of the interiority of Castaway. It has the great merit of not being sci-fi: it has homelier messages. It is built on a very big scale but you seldom feel it is big or even loud for the sake of it. I thought it amazingly believable. It is also beautiful: the spacecraft’s parachute, especially, takes on a life of its own. The garrulous old-timer played by George Clooney is a proper old-style hero, and the sad, tough, clever scientist played by Sandra Bullock hardly ever shrieks or hyper-ventilates.

It’s the female parts which are the trickiest in these big shows, as Shakespeare might have said. The out-and-out bitch is easy enough, but the toughie who is tender, the side-kick who takes centre-stage, the toned athlete who must yet be feminine: that’s much harder. Sandra Bullock does it all very well in Gravity. The test, maybe, is that she can shrug out of a spacesuit, or crawl up a beach from the sea, and there is no doubt she is all woman but that that isn’t the side of her we are gathered to admire, even as we stare at her body.

Curious to relate, the point of Gravity is that the technology was definitely one of the stars of the movie, but that it worked so well because it was working for the story and for us, and not just to show itself off. There are several moments when the 3D really matters, but they are mostly rather subtle. (I’d mention several of  them but rather than have to offer spoiler alerts, I’ll merely flag up the way we see visors, as a prime example of what I’m at.)

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Publication date

08 November 2013

Categories

On movies