Roma. It is a seriously beautiful but I left frustrated. In several emotional, daunting, or stressful moments the camera drifts away from our protagonist to just sort of take in the scenery. In form, it seems like it… doesn’t care? She’s a bit of a cipher. Perhaps that’s the point, and the broader time and place is what we’re meant to understand. You can see the climax coming a mile away. I like the water imagery, but the astronauts even more.
Gravity. It’s definitely worth seeing. Very stressful in an entertaining way. Gotta respect a movie with moments where just grabbing a rail feels like the most important thing in the universe. It’s a steady sequence of disasters and new problems. The special effects are just tremendous. I love the way Cuarón plays with the sound, changing with the environment or how the camera or the viewpoint would experience it. The score is omnipresent, for better or worse, depending on how you feel about that sort of thing, but I liked its spacy abstraction.
The writing is a real weakness I was willing to ignore in the moment, but made me sour a little bit when thinking back. The plotsplaining was a bit tedious at times (“But now we have to do X, but we have to look out for Y.”, or “It’s getting really hot in here!”), and there’s some backstory and associated melodrama that probably could have been excised, but it’s a popcorn genre film, sooooo whatever. Deal.