One of the weaker areas for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” in the eyes of some is its story and screenplay. They cavalierly dismiss it as a ride without thematic substance, though of course they’re dead wrong. It’s a movie about – as Cuarón has breathlessly said since the beginning – adversity, yes, but also grief and, as cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki noted to me recently, how small we are despite our great personal drama (to steal an idea from Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”).
As I wrote in my top 10 article, which found “Gravity” far and away the #1 film of the year, “It is one of the great films, an experience among pretenders, an achievement for all time to be cherished not as a bellwether for industry innovation to come, but for the profound thematic virtue it oozes.”
Maybe picking up on the sense that the film could be squeezed out of a hugely competitive Best Original Screenplay category, Warner Bros. has put together a new featurette called “‘Gravity’: From Script to Screen,” focusing quite a bit on the screenplay and story elements. Actor George Clooney fires off a quote about how the script grabbed him so and there’s plenty from Cuarón and son Jonás, who co-wrote the piece with him, concerning their process in crafting the story.
See for yourself in the video embedded at the top of this post. And if you haven’t seen “Gravity” yet, try to scope it out at a second-run theater over the holiday. Those can often be less-than-ideal theatrical circumstances, but anything other than theatrical is, well, less than ideal on this film.