Alfonso Cuarón | Gravity
For the first time in what feels like a while, the Best Directing nominees for this year’s Oscars are all incredibly deserving candidates, all the people who I would have selected on my ballot if I ever got to fill one out. Each director leaves his specific trademark stamp on his film, whether it’s the quick-witted insanity that David O. Russell finds in all of his movies, which is on full display yet again in American Hustle, or Martin Scorcese reminding us why we love him with his great, over-the-top sequences in The Wolf of Wall Street.
However, for me, despite the merit that each one of these directors holds, Alfonso Cuarón’s work in Gravity is simply incomparable. With Gravity, Cuarón was able to utilize 3D (a form of technology that I’ve always found to be quite gimmicky) to not simply increase the price of movie tickets but actually enhance the story that he was telling. The 3D in Gravity is the best ever put on film. It takes viewers watching the movie and literally transports them into space alongside Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Cuarón breaks down any barriers there might possibly be between the viewer and his film and fully immerses them in the mise-in-scene in a way that I don’t think has ever been done before by any other director.
Furthermore, Cuarón not only faced the challenge of creating a real, vibrant setting in space but also of using camerawork and visuals to create a captivating story for what mostly is a one-person-film. Cuarón’s signature long takes, as his camera moves with the action instead of staying stationary, forces us to feel like we are floating through space or slowly losing oxygen as well. These techniques help us forge a bond with Sandra Bullock’s Ryan and ensure that we are there with her, emotionally connected (whether we are scared, defeated, or hopeful), until the film’s conclusion.
Every frame, every shot, every moment of Gravity is pure masterful work from Cuarón. Thanks to him, Gravity is not simply just a film; it’s an experience, one like I’ve never had at the movies before and am not sure if I will ever have again.