The 86th Academy Awards happen in a few weeks and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is nominated for 10 Oscars (tied with American Hustle for the most), including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Sandra Bullock. While Gravity is winning BAFTA Awards and Golden Globes left and right, the space epic has its fair share of critics who didn’t care for Cuarón’s thrilling character study. The good people at ScreenJunkies released an Honest Trailer, and it’s one of the funniest videos they’ve released yet.
While I wasn’t a big fan of Gravity, the best way to watch the film was in theaters projected on a large IMAX screen, in fully immersive 3D. Now that the movie isn’t in theaters anymore, it’s going to be strange to adjust to a small screen. Hopefully people aren’t watching this on a four-inch iPhone screen. That would just ruin the epic cinematic experience. Gravity’s home video release reminds me of when James Cameron’s Avatar was released on Blu-ray/DVD. What the hell is the point of watching a movie like this on anything smaller than a movie screen?
One of the biggest criticisms of Gravity is the simple script. While the visuals are massive, the story, characters, and dialogue aren’t exactly the highest of quality. Alfonso Cuarón is a capable writer, but it’s not like Aaron Sorkin wrote the movie. However, the film didn’t get nominated for an Academy Award for writing, so it’s not like its screenplay is getting praise.
The best part of the Honest Trailer is pointing out how much Dr. Ryan Stone and Lieutenant Matt Kowalski keep bumping into convenient things, as they fight against impossible odds to grab on to anything, and hearing Sandra Bullock “Shia LaBeouf-ing” (No! No! No!).
Meanwhile, Cuarón talked about his career with THR. The video above starts out with how he ended up taking the helm for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which involved getting along with the book series’ author J. K. Rowling. The conversation later shifts to Gravity, and how Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. almost starred in the film instead of Bullock and Clooney.
It took Cuarón five years to make Gravity a reality. At the very early stages of development, he had Jolie in mind for Stone. As months turned into years, Jolie went from project to project, namely The Tourist with Johnny Depp in 2010, and her feature film directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey in 2011. She eventually just lost touch with Cuarón, and the Mexican director settled on Bullock as his protagonist.
As for Downey Jr., Cuarón says that the technology involved with the making of the film was going to get in the way of his performance. The Iron Man star likes to improvise and riff while filming, which conflicts with what Gravity would’ve demanded from him. The actors had to be precise for the technology to do its job, so the performers involved had to stick to the script and not veer off.