Stephen Carty’s “Gravity (2013)” Is Balanced to a Fault
By Eugenius Antonius, Senior Critic
Stephen Carty’s “Gravity (2013)” is an exercise in restraint. In the face of the overwhelming deluge of positive reviews, Carty strives to find a middle ground, an honest patch of soil where he can plant his flag firmly in the middle of the road.
Using his tried and true three-step formula of Plot, Review, Verdict, Carty paints a picture of a work that is simultaneously excellent and mediocre. The balancing act is successfully maintained right until the final sentence.
The Review portion (the meatiest of the three), is evenly split into two halves. The first half contains the praise, the second half is made up of the cons. Everything in its place, everything with its counterbalance.
The work begins to wear thin however, as Carty writes himself out. He’s happy to acknowledge potential arguments, but makes them in a way that divorces himself from the role of critic he has adopted. When he’s discusses cons he “admits” them, as if he were reluctant to do so. The arguments he posits against the film are framed as potential arguments that “one” might make. It weakens the work as a whole.
Carty’s writing begins to border on the frustrating as his care to avoid taking a firm stance on either side of the line he has drawn makes it impossible for the reader to know what the critic actually believes.