What it’s up for: Leading Actress, Best Picture, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Music (score), Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects
A mesmerizing experience. That sums up Gravity. And I’m pretty sure that’s what all the ads said too. This isn’t a movie I would buy and watch over and over again. It’s a movie to experience on a big screen, preferably in 3-D.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are part of a mission to update the Hubble telescope. While they are up there, a tragedy occurs and their space shuttle is destroyed, leaving them stranded in space. The goal from then on is to find a way back to Earth.
I love Alfonso Cuaron as a director. The Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite Harry Potter movie because of his visualization. Children of Men is still one of the most powerful and technically fascinating movies I’ve ever seen. I was familiar with his style going into the film and I think that helped me get a lot more out of it than I would have otherwise.
Early in the movie, Clooney lets himself drift off into space in order for Bullock to survive. It’s not an especially emotional moment because his character wasn’t extensively developed. However, it’s a moment that plays an important role in the character development of Bullock’s character Ryan, who the movie is really about. By this point we’ve learned that her young daughter had died at some point in her past and now her only companion has left her in space. Ryan’s ability to cope with alone-ness and her eventual self-discovery provide the main depth of the film.
Along this journey, Ryan has a moment where she acknowledges that she was never taught to pray. This triggers the spiritual theme, which is something Cuaron does very well in his films. By the end, Ryan has learned to pray thanks to help from Clooney’s character and her own growth as a human.
Cuaron makes effective use of the rule of three and draws significant importance from visual cues. Details are what make this movie’s plot significant. There is a lot of silence and still shots, which in context makes sense, but I can imagine that it may cause some audiences to lose focus. There is such a focus on artistry that these moments may seem pointless. However,the cinematography is undeniably amazing. Every shot is beautiful and detailed to an unbelievable level. 3-D technology was made for movies like this, with space debris flying everywhere and close up shots of the characters. It makes it feel like you’re actually in space. The visual effects are seemingly flawless and the lighting makes everything look very real.
The sound mixing and editing are solid and significant. All of the sounds had to be created from scratch and the balance of silence and noise played an important role. I don’t remember the score being particularly memorable in and of itself, but it did help highlight the events of the film well. Production design just speaks for itself since the entire setting of every scene was created from literally nothing. It was a work of art. The film editing helped evoke emotions and keep the plot going, which is significant since there was basically only one actor throughout the entire story.
And on that note, Sandra Bullock, like usual, is fabulous. It really says something about an actor’s ability when they have to act in a vacuum. (Pun totally intended.) She had no one to play off of most of the time and had to keep the plot going with body language. That being said, her ability to act in this type of a movie is different than what it takes to act with other people. The leading actress category is a strong one this year and it’ll be quite the battle.
(*Until I get further along in my movie watching, these predictions are going to be pretty vague…)
Leading Actress: Unlikely
Best Picture: Unlikely
Cinematography: Possible (still need to see the rest)
Directing: Possible but I don’t think so
Film Editing: Very possible (but I still haven’t seen the rest of these either)
Music (score): Unlikely
Production Design: I honestly have no clue till I see the others
Sound Editing: Possible, but I’d vote for Smaug
Sound Mixing: Possible
Visual Effects: I’d be shocked if it didn’t win…Smaug is their biggest contender here