This article again continues my long running Oscar nominated films. This time I will of course review the polarizing film named Gravity. Unlike many other films that were nominated for Best Picture this season, this one was an original tale that did not take place in real life. Or at least, I really hope it didn't. The first thing that is evident about this film even from the trailer would be that the drama is heightened in large part due to the shear scope of it. Life in space is impossible and no sound could be heard making it incredibly difficult to live alone. The trailer also showcases how incredible the visual effects are in the film, and truly they are absolutely amazing.
The plot centers around Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) who is a medical engineer on her first space shuttle mission aboard the Space Shuttle Explorer. Veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) is her companion who happens to be commanding his final mission. During a spacewalk in order to repair the Hubble Space Telescope but then Mission Control in Houston contacts them telling them of a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite. This caused a chain reaction forming a cloud of space debris, Mission Control orders them to abort the mission immediately and shortly after all communication with them is lost. High speed debris comes hurdling at the Explorer and Hubble separating Stone and Kowalski. At this point, Stone has to collect herself and work through her own separate issues in order to find the will to survive.
Gravity is a good film, do not get me wrong but I firmly believe it got all the attention and the Oscar nomination solely on the basis of it's visual effects. The visual effects helped create some added tension and it automatically is stressful enough to think about being in space. Space is something that we as an audience have very little knowledge of. It is scary to us, but also very intriguing. It is ultimately why a film of this nature would be so successful. It taps into all of that. It shows how scary it can be out in space but also how beautiful it is and goes to show why it is so intriguing. Alfonso Cuaron does a terrific job behind the camera as he continuously holds these big massive shots to showcase the carnage in the backdrop as Sandra Bullock's character works under so much stress. Scenes like that are where the film works best and is truly unlike anything we have seen before. Those scenes alone are again, why this film is getting all the attention. I understand that the Oscars like to reward films that are innovative and take risks but if you really look at the film as a whole, I can not say without a shadow of a doubt that it is worthy of being mentioned as the Best Picture of the year. It is more innovative and a spectacle then that of the Best Picture.
The strengths of the film obviously lay on the feet of it's director as I previously mentioned. Cuaron continuously shows his mastery over holding a long shot which adds tension in all the right places. Another aspect of the film that I did however really like is how they kept true to the fact that there is absolutely no sound in space. The film has a continuous thematic score going along with whatever is transpiring on screen which helps your imagination fill in the sounds that we are accustomed to hearing with explosions or forms of destruction. Sandra Bullock is very deserving of her Oscar nomination. Her performance as a woman struggling to find her place in the world to a woman dedicated to carrying on is as a strong a performance as she has given in her wonderful career. George Clooney gives what you would expect from him in his performance. He is immediately likable and charming which is a good opposition to Bullock's character. All in all it is a very good film with plenty of talent behind it but I still do not believe it should be up for Best Picture.