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[Movie] Gravity

The first two words I said after the credits rolled: Holy shit.

You can tell I’m a writer. I’m good with words.

I really don’t know how else I can react to this movie, though. I spent most of the film on the verge of tears and at the edge of my seat with my hands pressed against my mouth. It’s one of the most if not the most gorgeous movie I’ve ever seen. There’s a constant interplay between the unbelievable beauty of Earth as seen from space and the silent, terrifying void of space, and Gravity just rips your heart open and pours both in. This is one of the few times in my life I desperately wished that 3D didn’t give me headaches and make me want to barf, because as breathtaking as this movie was in 2D I can’t even imagine how it would have looked with an added third dimension.

I know I’m probably the latest to this party. I’ve been traveling for most of the month and literally have not had the time to see this movie until now. And if you, like me, have not yet seen Gravity, you’d better have a damn good excuse.

If this movie does not win five million awards, I’m going to start flying places and flipping podiums like a little bouncing ginger rage ball, I swear to god.

This is probably the most scientifically accurate movie I’ve ever seen. (Which isn’t to say it didn’t have flaws, but if I can manage to enjoy Star Trek without popping a brain aneurysm, I can somehow manage to survive Sandra Bullock’s hair forgetting that it’s in a zero-G environment.) While the visuals are what really stick with you, the sound design for the movie was absolutely amazing.

And there’s something even more horrifying about watching a space station get ripped to shreds without even a dismayed, metallic sigh.

I’ve seen this movie called a thriller over and over, and I suppose it is in the sense that the tension just never stops. It’s a disaster movie in space that never lets you forget just how fragile human life is as opposed to the implacable, inhospitable void. It’s all about human ingenuity struggling against the certainty to death. But the bigger story is really the internal journey of Ryan Stone and her decision to let go of sorrow and keep living by letting go of the comfortable void of space and returning to Earth. It was such a human journey played over a massive spatial scale.

This was also a much needed reminder for me that Sandra Bullock is a very good actress. The movie rides mostly on her shoulders, with a little support from George Clooney, and she makes you feel every second of fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness that lead up to that terrifying decision to keep fighting. I read a couple of articles about Gravity before seeing it, and one mentioned that there had been pressure to change the character of Ryan into a man. I’m so glad that they didn’t. Honestly, the characters in that movie really could have gone any way with gender, I think; there was nothing intrinsically male or female about any of them. But keeping Ryan as a woman made this one of those rare films where the woman is unquestionably the main character. (And Gravity was #1 worldwide for three weeks straight; maybe something to point out the next time someone trots out that bullshit about people not wanting to see movies with women in the lead.)

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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