Oscar Beat TIFF 2013: Alfonso Cuaron’s Marvelous GRAVITY Looks to Make Big Waves During Awards Season

     September 8, 2013


Director Alfonso Cuaron has been working on Gravity for over four years.  The film is not just a passion project, it’s a herculean endeavor.  In order to accomplish the visual effects necessary to tell the space-set story, Cuaron and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki had to invent new ways to shoot the picture.  It’s been a long time coming, but the film is finally hitting theaters next month and the question on everyone’s mind is: will it be worth the wait?  Having just seen the film earlier today in IMAX 3D at the Toronto International Film Festival, I can wholeheartedly answer, “Hell yes.”

A masterful piece of filmmaking, Gravity is almost certain to have a major presence in this year’s awards season, as the film looks poised to pic up numerous Academy Award nominations.  Hit the jump for my full rundown of the film’s Oscar prospects in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.

gravity-sandra-bullock-2The space-set dramatic thriller opens with a 20-minute opening shot.  Yes, that’s right.  The film does not cut for a nearly 20 minutes, as we’re introduced to the space setting and two astronauts: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney).  The two are doing some work on the Hubble telescope when they suddenly find themselves in a dire situation, and the ensuing 80 minutes are as unrelenting as they are awe-inspiring.  The less you know about Gravity going in the better, but suffice it to say that Cuaron and Lubezki have crafted a magnificent work of cinema that will literally make your jaw drop.

I like to think I’m pretty well versed in the mechanics of filmmaking, but I have absolutely no idea how Gravity is possible.  The seamless filmmaking masks any tell-tale signs of visual effects, and the result completely immerses the audience in the vastness of space; you will feel like you’re right there along with Stone and Kowalsky as the film’s events play out, which only heightens the terror and tension.  There is no sound in space, so Cuaron works with his sound engineers to ensure that all of the noise is heard as if you were inside one of the astronauts’ helmets.  The precision and detail with which Gravity has been put together is truly astounding.

At the same time, the film feels incredibly intimate thanks to the excellent script by Alfonso Cuaron and his son Jonas Cuaron, which works in concert with the filmmaking techniques to evoke some really strong themes.  As marvelous as Gravity is to behold visually, it’s also an extremely emotional experience thanks to a terrifically brave and strong performance from Bullock.

gravity-sandra-bullockGravity has already drawn strong marks from its screenings at the Venice and Telluride film festivals, and its equally enthusiastic response from TIFF ensures that it will be a very serious contender in the Oscar race.  The pic is highly likely to nab nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Design, and Best Sound Mixing.  The craftsmanship in this film is just breathtaking, and I don’t see how the Academy could ignore the insane sound, camera, and VFX work, not to mention the incredible performance from Bullock and Cuaron’s genius vision that made everything possible.

Gravity might also nab nominations for Steven Price’s powerful score and Alfonso and Jonas’ deft script, though I’ll feel more comfortable with those predictions once a wider array of responses floods in.  I know it’s still way too early to call favorites, but if the Oscars were being held next month I think Gravity and 12 Years a Slave would be sweeping the entire ceremony.  Luckily you don’t have to wait long to see it yourself, as the film opens on October 4th in both traditional and IMAX 3D theaters, though I highly recommend experiencing it in the IMAX 3D format.

Click here to catch up on all of our TIFF coverage thus far, and peruse the rest of the TIFF Oscar Beat articles below:


Around The Web
  • Arnie

    Sci-fi rarely gets any noms for the ‘top five’ at the oscars so I wouldn’t get your hopes up plus good shit never gets nominated

    • Arnie

      well not sci-fi but you know

    • matthew

      I wouldn’t call this sci-fi as it’s more Drama. It would be like calling 127 hours a sci-fi film.

      Edit: aah just noticed you replied to yourself.

    • Jon

      Until you’ve seen it you have no idea what you’re talking about. I was at this screening today as well. The film is beyond incredible. One of the best films I’ve ever seen. Truly staggering. There’s never been anything like it.

      • Arnie

        Look at past nominations most of the nominees have been lame. E.g The help, war horse, silver linings playbook.

        Real good stuff never gets noticed it’s all based on marketing blame weinstein

    • George Shapiro

      This movie is going to set all the Nolan nut huggers straight. This is what REAL visionary shit looks like BITCHES!

      • Jamie

        What does this have anything to do with Nolan? Plus Nolan is a master at directing, not sure why an idiot like yourself is bashing him.

    • Strong Enough

      gravity isn’t sci fi lmao.

  • MEY

    I would like to see Alex Pettyfer in Star Wars Episode 7!

    Oh, wrong post, sorry… :)


  • Bob

    My early prediction since the beginning has been: The Wolf of Wall Street vs American Hustle vs Gravity vs 12 Years a Slave. I really think that one of those will win it. Mark this comment.
    I feel pretty comfortable saying 12 Years a Slave(based off early reviews) will be nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actor Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score. Then possibly Supporting Actress and Film Editing.

  • Jay

    Once a year there is a visual treat in theaters. Last year was Life of Pi. When great directors tackle them they become more than just visually spellbinding.


    Remember everyone, at the end of the day Oscars are important only to filmmakers. They help sell dvd’s and reward filmmakers for their hard work. But at the end of the day, an Oscar is not a validation of a good movie. If Gravity is a great movie that doesn’t win any oscars, it’s still a great movie.

    • Nerdgasm

      Dude shut the fuck up. this is an idiotic statement. I can only really think of one or two movies in the last ten years taht got nominated that I thought had no business being nominated. but the wins have gone to good movies. Stop fucking denouncing shit just because you disagree. you dumb pompous son of a bitch.

      • IMPYEMU

        My statement wasn’t about how many movies undeservedly win Oscars, it was about how movies that don’t win them are still good, you cuntfaced pile of cumgas.

  • Pingback: 12 YEARS A SLAVE Emerges as Early Oscar Frontrunner after Fall Film Festival Premiere | Collider()

  • Pingback: GRAVITY Featurette. GRAVITY Stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney | Collider()