Gravity (2013)

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SPOILERS AHEAD

I saw this at a press screening the week before it opened. I then went to see it in an IMAX situation on Sunday. Even on a smaller screen in a private screening room, the film is overwhelming. It is only with perspective that I can even perceive a weakness in the film, but I find that weakness to be completely irrelevant when matched up with the sheer power and force of what I saw. That is so rarely the case as to be almost unheard-of. The screening room was on 55th and 6th. I was taking the bus home so I walked to 42nd and 8th, after the screening. It’s a bit of a hike. Maybe a 20-25 minute walk, especially with all of the crowds in the Times Square area. Throughout that walk, I was still in the grip of the film. I was still rotating and circling in the air, I still felt that tug of vertigo, and the final moment’s great humanistic image was still refusing to let me go. I wasn’t fully out of the experience until I woke up the following morning.

AND. AND. Best of ALL. Gravity is 91 minutes long. It’s not 3-plus hours long, which has become almost par for the course with these big intricate action films. It’s almost as though efficiency has become a lost art.

I have heard the film compared to 2001. It takes place in space and it confronts the vastness of space head-on, so there’s that. There’s the horrifying image of an astronaut floating untethered in the void, a common human nightmare of disconnection and abandonment. Gravity explores that, for sure, that’s what it’s all about. But 2001 was cold (not a criticism, just a description), and Gravity is hot. Hot with empathy, emotion, and feeling (in one or two places too much of it). I think a more apt comparison would be with something like Touching the Void, or Apollo 13, or Open Water, survival films that examine human reaction to almost unfathomable disaster. There is also the added factor that human beings are not built to survive in the environments depicted in these films. In Touching the Void (the documentary based on the true story), one of the climbers finds himself at the bottom of a gigantic ice crevasse. The situation he finds himself in is not akin to Tom Hanks on a desert island, where he can crack open coconuts, catch fish, and sleep on the beach. He is in an ice crevasse high up on a mountain in Peru and he either finds a way out NOW or he dies in the next 24 hours. It’s the epitome of the word inhospitable. People who have found themselves in such situations often talk about nature, or the environment, as feeling almost like a malign presence, something that is out to get them, to crush them. This is an accurate assessment. Nature is not benign, it is red in tooth and claw, and if you stray beyond the boundary where humans are supposed to go, you are often made to pay. Jon Krakauer, in his book Into Thin Air, says that at one point during the storm that engulfed his team trying to climb Mount Everest, he realized that if he died, no one in their right mind would ever consider it a tragedy. Because human beings weren’t supposed to be up on that mountain in the first place. And he got such a clear visceral sense of that, it was as though Everest itself was saying to him: “You are not supposed to be up here, human. And so here is what you get for thinking you can conquer me.”

The visuals in Gravity are astonishing, and it’s a full-immersion experience from the opening shot. The film doesn’t ease you into its dizzying world, it thrusts you into it from the start and expects you to catch up. Alfonso Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki (director and cinematographer) have worked together to create that world, and while people have been having fun fact-checking the film (and there have been some very interesting folks weighing in), what I was struck by was the almost unbelievable sense of reality in every frame: the light, the way it moved, the way the shadows fell, the sense that you were in a three-dimensional space, when … you’re NOT. It’s a MOVIE. And everything was green-screened. Amazing.

One of the things that really struck me is something I’d never actually thought about before: how you can’t slow yourself down out in space, you can’t modulate your movements or how you move through space the way you can in our atmosphere. It was one of the most horrifying aspects of the world portrayed in Gravity. You approach an object, and the collision could be deadly. You could whiz by the object, not get a handhold, and not be able to do a damn thing about it. Space itself is immense, and the abysses between stars are empty. There’s nothing to grab onto. But Gravity takes place just beyond our atmosphere, in what is a pretty crowded belt of space, circling Earth. There are satellites, space stations, debris. These objects are like buoys in the ocean. Hand-holds. Yes, everything is circling in its own fixed spot, but when something goes wrong … as it does … and stuff starts MOVING within that fixed belt around earth … the impacts are devastating. And just beyond that belt, where Earth appears as a gigantic blue and white sphere filling up the periphery, is the black void of the Universe. There’s nothing to hold onto out there. It is the ultimate unknown.

Falling just half a foot is a terrifying experience. Often, on the edges of sleep, I’ll feel like I’m falling and jerk myself awake, in order to avoid the horror of free-fall. When you fall, you lose control. Your arms grasp for something to break the fall. Gravity‘s entire 91 minutes lives in that freefall space. It’s one of the ways it works. And it works on a primal level, something beyond intellect or analysis. Seeing Sandra Bullock spinning in space in her spacesuit, unconnected to anything, set adrift, “off structure” as she gasps into her little microphone, is so terrifying that you just ache for it to be over. You ache for it to stop. You can’t even LOOK because the empathy-factor is so enormous.

There is one moment in the script that (upon reflection) I wish they had considered cutting. It’s just slightly overcooked.

Sandra Bullock is amazing. My favorite parts is when she, under the gun, has to figure shit out. That is WORK. That is what it looks like. She’s reading the manual about lift-off, and has to remember her lessons from the simulator training, in a life-or-death situation. This is the reality for astronauts. It is made palpable just how incredible these people are, these people who go up there into that unknown. George Clooney plays a relaxed wisecracking version of himself, which was a perfect foil, and almost subversive once the film really starts to unfold (in its second half – although the whole thing feels like one event.) Here’s the thing. Sandra Bullock is 49 years old. When Bette Davis was 49 years old, she started doing more television, and leading lady film roles were increasingly hard to find. When Joan Crawford was 49 years old, she was still showing up as a leading lady (and, frankly, always would, when she would appear in films), but the properties were less interesting, the budgets lower. We’re in a revolution now, a pioneering phase of the industry. Meryl Streep is still opening films. You could never characterize her as a supporting actress. Those who don’t like her acting are certainly free to feel however they want to feel, but to not GET what she is doing to expand opportunities for actresses over normal leading-lady age, should not be ignored. There are many others. It’s a new world now. There still isn’t room for a lot of older lady parts, but that’s true for men as well. A lot of actors will have to take what they can get. The fact that Sandra Bullock is the star of a gigantic special-effects art-film, which is raking in the dough, is important. I was thinking to myself: This so easily could have been made with a guy in her role. But we’ve seen that before. I am so GLAD that they went the female route, and I am so glad that it wasn’t a 20-something woman, or a 30-something woman, but a 40-something woman. I take these things personally, and if you care about culture, you should too.

What is subversive here is that even I – who proudly considers myself a feminist – felt so relieved when George Clooney showed up again. Now this is partly because he was the experienced astronaut. But it was partly that, “Oh, thank God, the man is here, he’ll take care of things.” I believe this was deliberate on the part of the filmmaker. When I saw it in a packed movie theatre, the entire audience breathed an audible sigh of relief when he showed up, and a couple of people clapped. This is a valid response, but it is also one that should be investigated. It’s important to ask Why. Why was I psyched he showed up? Could it be it’s because I feel safer with a man at the wheel? And really sit in that question. I think the film wants you to sit in that question.

So. Yes. As a woman, I was proud that a woman had to figure shit out on her own, and made mistakes, and freaked out, and took a second to cry (I felt impatient with her, thinking, “THERE’S NO CRYING ON THE SPACE STATION” – although I probably would have cried a couple of floaty-zero-gravity tears as well, in her position), and then realized that – like Morgan Freeman intones in The Shawshank Redemption, you either get busy living, or get busy dying.

That’s what Gravity is about. That’s what really reminded me of Touching the Void, that moment when Joe Simpson, trapped in the crevasse, had to make the horrifying choice to go deeper into the crevasse, HOPING that he could find a way out down there in that blackness. Amazing balls. And with a broken leg. But that was the clear choice: stay there (which meant he would have been choosing death) or venture downwards (because even if he died down there, it meant that he was choosing to TRY to live).

And that is the choice placed before our heroine in Gravity. And she has to be beaten into submission by the events unfolding around her. Nature is brutal. Outer space is brutal. It WANTS to kill her. It has zero mercy. It does not care that she is tired, that she is crying, that she doesn’t know how to operate the computer. It is going to continue doing what it is doing, and if she wants to survive then she needs to straighten the fuck up and fly right. We’ve seen men in that position so many times in cinema. Women have also shown courage and heroism in cinema, but just not as often, and not in this type of material. Sigourney Weaver broke new ground in the Alien films, which still have resonance, and you wonder if she would have been cast if the film were being made today. The character is not a Lara Croft superhero. She’s human. She’s capable but she is stretched to her very limits over the course of the film. (This is one of the many reasons I admire/love G.I. Jane.) In Gravity, Sandra Bullock’s character is not equipped to do what she needs to do. She doesn’t know enough, she doesn’t have enough experience. But she needs to figure it out or she will die. It’s that simple.

I have heard people complaining about the backstory given to her character. I don’t have a problem with it. I do admit I felt a slight tightening of anxiety the first time I saw the film because I feared that the script was going to try to be a “redemption narrative” rather than a survival narrative. You know, she finds inner peace through her experience of disaster, and it’s the inner peace that is more important, because that is what we value in our culture now, how things affect us PERSONALLY, and how we grow/learn/change, that which does not kill us makes us stronger, and I find that whole thing gross and I didn’t want Gravity to go that way. Gravity doesn’t go that way. Astronauts talk about something called the “overview effect”: what it feels like when you first see the world from outer space. It’s a life-changing consciousness-changing moment, and only a handful of people have had that experience first-hand. Astronauts are not poets (I am reminded of Jodie Foster’s awe-struck moment in Contact when she sees the swirl of a galaxy in the wormhole, and tries to describe it to those listening back home and finally says, “They should have sent a poet!”), they are scientists and test pilots, who can land aircraft on heaving aircraft carriers in the ocean, and risk their lives, and problem-solve under the gun … They are not guys given to reflection. But listen to astronauts talk about their first moment seeing the earth, and listen to them talk about the overview effect. It’s profound. (NPR did a whole show about the overview effect.)

I won’t say that Gravity gave me an overview effect, but it did give me a glimpse of what people who have had that experience must have felt like.

And the final shot, marred only by that one script thing that I wish they had cut … is profound. She looks like a sea creature deciding to shed its fins and try walking on land. She looks like the evolutionary process at work, in process. She is both monstrous and divine. She is awkward, like a Frankenstein monster, or an alien being, trying on human form. Her body seems gigantic and statuesque, and yet somehow fragile at the same time filmed from below as she staggers to her feet. She is the standin for all humanity in that moment. Humanity, its beauty, its fragility, its awesome powers of strength, creativity, and gumption. And, back to the subversive nature of the film: Women rarely represent all of us, in film. Who knows why. Maybe it’s because the majority of filmmakers are men. We see the world through their eyes. And I’m not complaining, not necessarily. I wouldn’t trade in John Ford, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, PT Anderson, Hitchcock, and all the rest for the world. But it is assumed that men can’t relate to women as being representative of themselves. And it is assumed that women CAN relate to men as representative of themselves. (You know: women are meant to assume that we are included in the word “mankind”. Examples abound.) This is how the culture operates and I’m sick to death of all of it.

Gravity, on that subversive level I keep mentioning, works as a welcome corrective. Ironically, considering the fact that the film takes place in a world with no oxygen, it felt like oxygen POURED into those tired old tropes, those cliches that I find so boring, and gave them new and interesting life. It asks the male members of the audience to look at Sandra Bullock as a standin for themselves, who they would be, and how they would feel and act in a similar situation. Good. We’re all part of the same species. We’re in this thing together.

I’m still in the film’s grip. I want to catch it again in IMAX before it disappears.

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33 Responses to Gravity (2013)

  1. Melissa Sutherland says:

    Sheila, you just, in a few words, explained why I so love this movie. I’ve read all the commentary, I don’t care, I think it is AMAZING. It made me feel something I’ve almost never felt in a movie. Forget the feminism, the “back story issue,” the CGI, forget EVERYTHING, it is a movie that makes you feel. At least it did me, and now you’ve summed it up. Beautifully. Thank you. I couldn’t find the words. You did.

    • sheila says:

      Yup! I found the last shot overwhelming in a way I have rarely felt in cinema. Humanist. Real Big Picture moment. So many films go for Big Picture Moments and they don’t feel earned, or it feels cheap and manipulative. This one felt totally earned.

      My friend had a problem with the score – she thought it was too much. The only moment in the score I REALLY didn’t like was when she came across her dead colleague – and there was a horror-movie jolt of sound. Did not like that at ALL. But the rest of it I found awe-inspiring, and the swell of sound in that final scene …. my God it was powerful.

      Bullock was incredible.

      I was completely wrapped up in this picture the first time I saw it – I honestly felt like I didn’t breathe for those 91 minutes. Amazing!! So glad you felt the same way, Melissa!

    • sheila says:

      and weren’t you just blown away by how real it seemed? Almost everything we saw on that screen was created – and not ONCE did I feel like I was looking at something CGI-created. I can’t think of one moment.

      And the ACTING. Again, Bullock had to create all of that by herself – AND she has no actual experience to rely on because she has never been in outer space. But it was so so real.

      And I still think it was totally cool in a very subversive way that the lead of this action space film is a 49 year old woman. AND that it’s a HIT. :)

      • sheila says:

        I am thinking in particular of the horrifying sequence where she gets tangled up in the parachute. WHAT a thing to create. In a way that makes it clear to the audience what is happening. So complex. So freakin’ real. That parachute looked like a giant squid from the Black Lagoon and it would not let her go. AMAZING.

  2. Melissa Sutherland says:

    PS: wish we had IMAX in Keene. I’m just glad we have a movie theatre with 3D!! Am seeing it again (with friends I’m dragging along) on Monday. Yeah.

    • sheila says:

      Ha! Yes – after I went to the press screening by myself, I texted a friend demanding that we go see it together in IMAX. I have heard that it is just as gorgeous/stunning/scary in 2D. But IMAX made me feel like I was an astronaut – I would imagine that people with serious vertigo could not deal with this film at ALL.

  3. Todd Restler says:

    Great analysis!

    Since I have kids it’s hard to get to R rated movies in the theater…this was the first movie I’ve ever seen in a theater by myself, and boy am I glad I went. I just knew I had to see this on a big screen. Just amazing, hard to know where to start.

    As you pointed out, it puts you right into the story. So many movies you can set your watch by…..” here are the characters and their traits, here’s the false start, here’s the inciting incident..” etc., but this movie just plunges right in. Forget the obligatory training sequence, we don’t even get any exposition on the mission. Just a couple of minutes to orient yourself and then BAM! Love it.

    Easily the best movie set in space ever. Most space movies have a few scenes of zero gravity, this WHOLE MOVIE is in zero gravity, except for the amazing moments at the end.

    I usually relate more to movies like Swingers, or Woody Allen movies, which are essentially movies where people just talk to each other. The ability to create real people and identifiable situations out of “normal” life always resonates with me.

    But the movies that really IMPRESS the hell out me are the ones where I watch them and can’t believe what I am seeing from a logistical standpoint. Where I say “how the hell did they do that?” Like the Titanic sinking, or most of Black Hawk Down, or Dark City or Aliens, movies where an entirely new world is created, or thousands of extras are mobilized. I just get blown away thinking “I could never do that”.

    This movie is PERFECT from an effects standpoint. There is not a single moment where I didn’t believe what I was watching. It is indeed vertigo inducing, in a good way. Makes Space seem equally beautiful and terrifying, which it is.

    I also like that the trailers and TV spots didn’t’ give the whole story away, which is a big pet peeve of mine, especially lately. They lead you to believe the whole movie is Bullock floating alone in space, when it’s really just one of many amazing sequences.

    I was also relieved to see Clooney reappear, not because he was a man, but because his character had more experience in space. I myself didn’t think twice about a female being in the lead, if the roles were reversed I think it could have worked just as well, but Bullock for sure was amazing. Much of the movie was just her eyes, or her breathing, and you always felt the emotions she was feeling. Palpable.

    I didn’t love the backstory myself, partly because I have kids and just hate hearing that kind of stuff in any context, even when it’s fictional. But also because I felt like they needed to provide her with an excuse or reason if she decided to give up, when under the circumstances giving up would be a completely rational thing to do. But it certainly didn’t hurt the film in any meaningful way.

    Your comparisons to Touching the Void and Open Water were right on, this is a survival story set in space, yet since it was fictional and we didn’t know the outcome, the tension was even more intense. I felt like I was gripping the edge of my seat the whole time, and I’m usually too removed, too much in “analytical mode” to feel like that. Not this time.

    What was the complaint you had with the script Sheila, I didn’t get it from your review, unless I just missed it.

    I need to get some distance from this one, some perspective, but at the moment I feel like this was one of the best films I have ever seen.

    • sheila says:

      Todd – Yes, the “how the hell did they do that” factor was just awe-inspiring. I can’t wait for the “making-of” special feature. I mean, I was also thinking of it in terms of acting. How much of their dialogue was looped in later? Especially her? When she’s spinning through space, and you hear her hyperventilating and screaming – I kept picturing Sandra Bullock having to create that, standing in a recording studio. I mean, it sounds so real what she is doing – I totally believed that those terrified animal sounds were coming FROM that small spinning astronaut figure. You know?

      The SOUND was just so great. So real.

      // I myself didn’t think twice about a female being in the lead, if the roles were reversed I think it could have worked just as well, //

      It’s interesting that you say that. I was thinking the same thing in the couple of days after I saw it for the first time. Obviously, I am interested in the (very subtle) gender politics of the film. I think they are very thought-provoking and never ever mentioned outright, which was awesome. But what if Bullock had been the experienced astronaut and a male had been the inexperienced scientist? (Not Clooney – I think the tension would have lessened considerably if it had been Clooney stranded out there by himself – because he’s so naturally heroic/leading-man that you would just assume he’d find a way out of it.) But if it had been – just for example – Bob Balaban or something. I mean, it could happen. Someone like THAT in the Bullock role. That definitely would have worked as well.

      But as I said I’m very happy that lead role was a woman.

      In re: backstory: // But also because I felt like they needed to provide her with an excuse or reason if she decided to give up, when under the circumstances giving up would be a completely rational thing to do. //

      Right. I can see the issue with that. I don’t think they needed the backstory at all – Life is Important, and the Survival Instinct is innate in all of us – and that’s what the story is REALLY about (thank God – like I said, I was afraid the whole thing was going to turn into a metaphor for her finding inner peace.) And maybe more inner peace will be a byproduct of her experience in outer space, but her survival story was more important in the moment. Not sure if I’m making sense. I know a lot of people really hate the back story. I didn’t, but it did make me nervous at first, I was afraid it would take over.

      And to your last question: when she says “Thank you.” at the end.

      The moment did NOT NEED that “thank you”. It’s a flaw. The flow of those final 15 minutes are so powerful that the “thank you” does not derail the whole thing, but it’s a near miss. Language is totally irrelevant at that point – I think that “thank you” should have been cut out with the first draft.

  4. Luis Guillermo Jiménez says:

    Just came back from seeing it. Fantastic movie. It’s nearly 2:00 am, and I’m too tired to gush about the film right now, but I’m too curious not to ask: just what is that script flaw you wish had been cut?

    • sheila says:

      See comment about. When she says “Thank you.” I didn’t like it the first or the second time, so I trust my gut about it.

      • Luis Guillermo Jiménez says:

        Interesting. I didn’t seem like a flaw to me, but like you said, it adds nothing to the accomplishment of that scene. The look of the wet soil between Stone’s fingers in that ending is much more powerful to me that anything she could have said.

  5. Dan says:

    //Those who don’t like her acting are certainly free to feel however they want to feel//

    Wait, what? People don’t like her acting?

    Going to try and get a sitter and see this one in the theatre, IMAX if can do. Really looking forward to it.

    • sheila says:

      Dan – Some people think she is too mechanical, she relies on tricks too much. While sometimes I can see that – I think she is completely changing the industry, almost single-handedly right now, by continuing to be a leading lady well into her 60s. Go Meryl. Cannot wait for August Osage County!

      and yes, Gravity should definitely be seen on the big screen if you can!! Look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

  6. Saw it in mere 2D. Loved it anyway. Especially Sandra Bullock.

  7. I really think she was perfectly cast, given the relationship audiences seem to have with her. She’s a big star but part of her appeal has always been that she seems like someone you might actually encounter in your real life. She’s a warm actress and people *like* her in a way they like few stars. It’s such a white-knuckle ride, I think it really benefits from her presence, and knowing audiences will be thinking “Come on, Sandy! Grab that damn thing!”
    I thought Clooney was just right, too.

    It’s not 2001 for so many reasons, but it’s a wonderful trip.

    • sheila says:

      I still think her best performance was in Murder by Numbers, but I am just so psyched for her that she is in THIS and that it is doing so WELL.

      • sheila says:

        and yeah. That feeling of connection with her which already exists really helps. It’s not, say, Rachel McAdams or something – nothing against her – but there isn’t that strong already-existing bond with a pretty huge audience.

        • Exactly! If *I’m* reacting that way, I can only imagine what her big time fans are doing in the theater!

          I was thinking of Jolie, whom I think is a unique and fascinating screen presence and damned good in the right part (e.g. SALT). However, here, she would not have been nearly as effective.

          • sheila says:

            Right. You just know Jolie’s going to be okay. With Bullock, you have the sneaky suspicion that the film could indeed kill her.

  8. brendan says:

    Angelina bores the tears into no-gravity out of me. She would have been playing tough the whole boring time. I am still a bit unclear WHICH moment you are expressing mild problems with? Clooney coming back? Her crying to herself? Also interesting to me that there was a gender lightbulb that went off for you when Clooney shows back up…for me it was just the reappearance of another HUMAN! Like, she wasn’t alone anymore. God, what a movie.

    • sheila says:

      Bren – yes, there was definitely that “not alone” factor, which is such a huge part of the film. Space is so empty, human life is so sparse … Maybe cause I’m a girl. I was so happy that he was, in fact, just a figment of her imagination and that the film wasn’t about him rescuing her. He was there to cheer her on mentally (in her own mind) – but she had to figure that shit out herself. TRIUMPH. So I think the director, subtly, was playing on our “damsel in distress” cliche, that runs deep in the culture. You know? Not in a cynical way or anything. But it was definitely a factor for me.

      and I just didn’t like when she whispers “Thank you” into the mud at the end. It’s not a huge flaw. I just wish it wasn’t there. But that final moment is superb all on its own. It’s a glitch. It bothered me both times.

      All in all, a brilliant film. I am still thinking about it! I can’t wait to see all the “making of” features – didn’t you think the ACTING, let alone the special effects, was just off the charts good? Especially because half the time you know they were looping in their voices, weren’t even in the same room … Just amazing acting work by those two.

  9. brendan says:

    Yep. Wouldn’t matter a lick if it wasn’t in there, doesn’t need to be there. Like, what’s the opposite of her saying that? Expressing outrage? “Goddammit, I wish there was something ELSE for me to overcome right now.” No need for her to say thank you, the thank you is EVERYWHERE in that moment.

    • sheila says:

      Exactly. But the sweep of that last moment is so overwhelming that it doesn’t derail it. I love how her hand scoops at the mud. She can’t get enough of the feeling of earth.

  10. brendan says:

    She’s 50 feet tall! Love that observation about her being a stand-in for all of us…very interesting. I have some thoughts about WHY storytelling gravitates that way but I don’t want the internet to rise up and swallow me whole while setting me on fire.

    • sheila says:

      She is the embodiment of this process in that final moment.

      http://fineartamerica.com/featured/evolution-mark-lelieveld.html

      An evolutionary process. So often in such images, it’s a man pictured. Here it’s a woman. I think that’s so important.

      And yes – she’s like your FB banner in that final moment, Bren – I just loved how they filmed her. She does look like a monster emerging from the deep to destroy Tokyo. Only she’s benign.

      • sheila says:

        I also loved the TIMED aspect of the disaster. That they knew they had such-and-such amount of time before the debris came around again. Good tense storytelling. No slack in the script, and the only real “pause” is when he’s towing her across empty space and trying to get her to talk and lighten up. Again, really good storytelling. That “pause” is key to everything. But the awareness that that debris is coming around again … I was stressed out the whole time about it.

  11. brendan says:

    Yeah, we saw it on Saturday afternoon and then I took Melody to see it Sunday night! Two days in a row. Super awesome. And yes, the 90 minutes was awesome. ALSO, the film itself is 90 freakin’ minutes which I just don’t think is accidental at all.

    • sheila says:

      Right! Aristotle would be proud. That sense of time keeps you totally on track, and you never forget that that debris is coming around again.

      I’m still blown away by that whole parachute section. I mean, to even conceive of that – first of all – and then to pull it off – in a way that I understood it, and also that none of it looks phony … So impressive.

  12. Melissa Sutherland says:

    Sheila, just saw it again, and with your “thank you” thoughts in mind.

    I still liked it, as I saw it coming from a sense of gratitude, something I think we have all too little of. About anything. Sometimes I forget to be grateful for so many things: living where I do, being relatively healthy (not always the case), being born in the Western Hemisphere (nothing to sneeze at) at a particular time in history; having friends and family and people I love and rely on. Just things I so take for granted most of the time. And I think in the movie, she was just so damn grateful to be able to feel solid earth under her. Nothing to sneeze at. The whole thing blew me away again.

    • sheila says:

      // as I saw it coming from a sense of gratitude, something I think we have all too little of. //

      Sure, I agree with that statement, but when it comes to art I prefer that sentiment not to be underlined. The “Thank You” was an unnecessary underline. Everything in that scene – her body language, the music – said “Thank You”. If you can do it without language in movies, you should.

      Didn’t ruin the film or anything for me, but I still wish it wasn’t there.

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