Film Corner: Gravity

[Content Note: Descriptions of panic; minor spoilers for the film Gravity.]

image of Sandra Bullock as Astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone floating pass part of a space station with any purchase just out of her reach

As you may recall, I was very, very, very excited about Gravity, aka AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH: The Movie, when the trailers first started airing this summer. So, when it finally opened, Iain and I immediately went to see it, because I can't even remember the last time I was genuinely anticipating a movie opening with such enthusiasm.

Neither of us is a fan of 3D, and there was only one non-3D showing, at 9:00, so we bought our tickets early and drank coffee beforehand, because we are old and sleepy. (At least by 9:00 on a Friday night after a long week we are.) And we were definitely not the only keen beans, because Gravity opened with a record $55 million October launch. Yowza!

Anyway, the movie was very good! But, as I've mentioned, I'm very much a fan of "adrift" movies—because they make me anxious in a way that feels within my control, which is very different from the anxiety I experience in my real life. It's that very panic-inducing thing that makes these sorts of films unenjoyable for some other people, so let me say flatly that if you don't like getting that sort of exhilarating panic that one might experience on a roller coaster, you might want to avoid this one. At least until you can watch it at home where you can pause it if you need a breather.

Because it is VERY INTENSE! It's shot in a way that makes it really immersive, and I felt like my entire body was empathizing with Dr. Stone (Sandra Bullock), feeling every emotion and tumble she did. I don't get motion sickness, but I could feel the tension throughout my body, and there were definitely times that I nearly had a sensation of falling.

A few friends have asked if it's gory, and it's not gory. (There is one moment of bloodless gore.) It is, however, definitely terrifying, in a "How can THAT be happening?! Oh god how is THAT happening?! HOW IS SHE GONNA GET OUT OF THIS ONE?! AHHHHH!!!" kind of way, lol. I've also been asked if I think it might trigger people who get motion sickness with hand-held camerawork, and, yes, I think it would—not because of shakiness so much as because of spinning. I've heard that seeing it in 3D enhances this effect.

It's also very beautifully shot, and although some of the science was stretched for the story, it's plausible enough. The special effects are tremendous, and, overall, the film felt fresh—like something I haven't already seen a thousand times. Which is the one of the highest compliments I can give any film in this era of reboots and remakes.

Anyway! I don't want to share too much of the story, because I went in largely not knowing what the story was, and that made it all the more fun. And I thought the more important thing was to address the watchability for people with certain viewing limitations. If you have any questions that might help you ascertain whether you can watch Gravity, ask away in comments!

If you saw it, what did you think?

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