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“Gravity” brought us back to earth October 12, 2013

Posted by makingyourdashcount in death, faith, Life Journey, mourning, movies, Sarah, space.
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Warning ….Mild spoilers:

Last night my hubby and I plopped down $32 to see Gravity in 3D at the local IMAX theater. You have no idea how absurd that even is.  I am a $5 matinee kind of girl; I paid as he gave me a “you’ve got to be kidding” glance that surmised that I was crazy.  We then went and plunked down another $6 for a large soda, but at least it was a Coke Freestyle machine so I could make my favorite concoction (equal proportions Sprite 0, Fanta Free fruit punch, and soda water. YUM)

We settled in the IMAX seating.  The screen at the AMC was smaller than the screen at our local science museum, COSI, so I was a bit disappointed in that.   For the most part the movie was gripping.  The 3D effects were natural; it was nice not having contrived  images to make wearing ridiculous glasses bearable.  You don’t need corny effects for space.

The plot was a bit contrived, but..  it’s a space disaster movie, so …whatever.  Sometimes it nice to suspend reality and let the vines grow around the movie theater seat. So suspended we were, through the action scenes involving rogue satellite parts and shattering spacecraft.  The scientist that my husband is exclaimed that Bullock’s character better hold onto something when she reached for the fire extinguisher the first time!  We were suspended.  And then Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone,  started talking about her 4  year old daughter who died unexpectedly in an accident. I can’t quote the lines exactly ( or at all)  but she talked about her daughter’s tangle of hair, a tangle that a brush couldn’t go through.  At that point, I looked at John and saw his emotion.  Our daughter, Sarah, whom we lost at 16 quite unexpectedly, had a tangle of hair that even at 16 she frequently gave up on!  Then Stone’s daughter’s name, Sarah, was uttered.  My husband and I held hands through the rest of that scene, as one.

It was unexpected and (unfortunately) took us out of suspended reality because we identified with this mom.  We knew Sarah. We knew where Ryan Stone was, because in so many ways, we are there, too.  Loss of a child is sometimes treated sappily in movies and on TV.  but this was really spot on. I identified with Stone wanting to believe in heaven, who wouldn’t? But Stone suspended her own secular humanist reality by wanting that for her daughter- a point that was interesting in a movie with so much religious imagery.    In so many ways we connected with this character.  Our empathy was with Stone; our tears were for our Sarah.

I’ve read some critiques that the movie Gravity is really a chic flick in spacesuits.  Perhaps.  I would prefer to think that it’s an action flick with some humanity.   All in all, it was a good night out.  Was it worth $16/ each?  It is “just a movie,” but it really was a fast paced 90 minutes that really should be seen in 3-D.  Read the reviews and decide for yourselves.  I am glad that we went. I mean, it is Sandra Bullock.

Oh yeah, George Clooney’s in it, too.


1. Susan Buchsbaum - October 13, 2013

Thank you, Betsey for your comments above. I just returned home from seeing the film. It seems that anything I would say regarding the Sarah connection would sound trite, because I do not stand in your shoes. Being childless, due to my disability, I only know the emptiness of not having a child, ever. (Which is no small thing unto itself–just a different issue.) I will say this though–my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how many times over the years that visceral emotion has blindsided you, as in this instance.

In terms of the bigger picture–the film, itself, I adored the film. I don’t really see it as a “chick flick,” instead, as quite a ride, in all aspects of the word. The ending was great–not your typical Hollywood sap. I found the picture to be quite thought-provoking after-the-fact. At first a little annoyed at the dialogue, I later realized how important it is in the larger scope of the film, itself.
I too saw it at an AMC 3D-Imax venue, and although I thought the effects were great, I too was a little let down–expecting an Imax like the one at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

I now want to go back and re-view “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which is now 45 years old, just to compare and contrast the two space films. It’s been 45 years since I have originally seen it, but I very much view “2001: A Space Odyssey” as being an iconic film. I think “Gravity” too is iconic in it’s own right–just in a very different way.

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