Gravity ★★★★★

I often come on Letterboxd and wax poetic about the beauty of a film, why it is great, break down the nuance of different aspects of what went into it. Occasionally I will type a review of a bad film and have a blast doing so, because I find it remarkably easy to explain why I loathe a work so much. The most difficult thing for me to do sometimes is come up with words to describe something I truly love, something that actually does shake me to my core.

I haven't a film experience like the one Gravity provided since my second viewing of The Tree of Life, something so profound and equal parts devastating and uplifting that the beauty of it all overwhelmed me.

Early in the film I was already in awe of the craftsmanship, and a specific little moment got my attention and planted a smile on my face. Watching Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) work, and on the face shield of her helmet you could see the reflection of Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) drifting by somewhere off frame...I thought something about that was so perfect. The attention to detail during a sequence that is almost entirely done using a computer, to include something so seemingly insignificant yet, for me, utterly spellbinding, I can't express how much I appreciate it.

I spent 65 percent of Gravity in tears, both from watching this work of art unfold, but also during specific scenes in which Sandra Bullock destroyed me with her performance. Her facial expressions alone, the look of terror and heartbreak in her eyes was done so perfectly I never once looked at her as an actress or thought of this as "just a movie". One point specifically broke me, when she describes her daughter and the fact that her hair gets tangled but she doesn't like to brush it. The description so perfectly described my own daughter, I couldn't take it.

I was still obviously emotional driving home from the theater, at one point even receiving looks from the car next to me when stopped at a red light. I didn't care. I have no shame with allowing myself to connect with a brilliant film, and to say I did so with Gravity is an understatement. This is my top film from 2013, this would have been my top film from 2012 had it been released then. It is the best film since The Tree of Life.

I haven't mentioned the visual experience because it has been said so many times before in the few days since Gravity was released. Let's just say, what everyone else has said about the eyegasm provided by this film, I agree completely. It is something that can't even be explained with words, it is meant to behold and wonder how they pulled it off.

That being said, I don't feel this film needs a giant screen or 3D to be enjoyed, I think it does the work of Cuaron a disservice to claim it will lose something during home viewing. Sure, it was meant to be seen this way at least once, to experience his full vision in the most epic way possible, but I will purchase the blu ray of this film the day it is released and shed tears all over again, and I doubt I will feel any different. The emotional connection I achieved with this work far outweighs the spectacle, and I can't wait to witness it all again.

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