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Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity has been blowing our minds, sight unseen, for months, now, with just trailers and Comic Con panels to reveal what director Alfonso Cuaron had in store. Now that Gravity has finally played for audiences, at the Venice Film Festival, the verdict is in-- and Gravity, somewhat unbelievably, is living up to all that hype.
"When I stood up as the final credit rolled, I don’t mind admitting that I immediately had to sit down again, a Bambi-like wobble coursing through my limbs, as if I'd just re-encountered gravity myself. For sheer transference of experience upon the audience, I can think of no film quite like it," writes Guy Lodge in his review at Hitfix, with a headline that calls the film "astonishing." In Variety Justin Chang calls it "A nervy experiment in blockbuster minimalism and a film of robust movie-movie thrills, restoring a sense of wonder, terror and possibility to the bigscreen that should inspire awe among critics and audiences worldwide." And at The Playlist Oliver Lyttleton says Gravity is " about as visceral an experience as you can have in a cinema, it’s a technical marvel, and it’s a blockbuster with heart and soul in spades."
If you're not afraid of spoiling the experience for yourself, go ahead and click over to those reviews, or any of the other well-written ones currently pouring on to the Internet. But for my part, I"m going to do my best to stay away. What we've heard about Gravity-- the 15 or 20-minute opening single take, the intense focus on Sandra Bullock in the lead role, the honesty about physics in space-- makes it sound like a real marvel, and the kind of thing that's worth discovering on your own, with every single surprise sustained if possible. In this job it's hard to keep those surprises for yourself-- I don't just watch most trailers, but write about them-- but Gravity has stayed pleasantly mysterious, if only because it's still hard to imagine how a movie about one woman lost in space can last for an entire film. Not that I've doubted that Cuaron can pull it off-- Children of Men, a flat-out masterpiece, earned him eternal benefit of the doubt-- but it's how he's pulled it off that I've been wondering. And simply knowing that he does do it, and that even the hard-nosed critics at the Venice Film Festival loved it, is now enough for me.
Gravity will make its way to the Toronto Film Festival next week-- where Sean will e seeing it and reporting on it-- and then come to theaters for the rest of us on October 4. Here's the most recent trailer below, in case you still need a reminder of what we're so psyched about.