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Walter Chaw’s “Telluride ’13: Gravity” Is a Fun but Flawed Review

In response to Walter Chaw’s 712‑word review of Gravity on Film Freak Central

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Walter Chaw’s “Telluride ‘13: Gravity” starts with a grade for the film that is a bit unconventional, being on a four-star scale. In a field mostly populated by five-star rating systems, the missing star almost makes it seem like Chaw is cutting corners. Luckily he cuts no corners in the review itself, providing a 712-word piece of criticism that earns its word count.

Chaw delves into some of the more technical aspects of his subject, providing information that many reviewers might gloss over but here provides valuable information to the audience. That he does so without ever getting bogged down in those details speaks to his skills as a writer.

Problems arise, however, when his shortcomings as a writer become apparent. For instance, the opening sentence is a confusing mess, full of dashes and parentheses and commas that all add up to make it a difficult starting point for readers. He is also a little too generous with providing plot details, seeming to think in parts that he is being more subtle than he actually is. The result is that some readers might be frustrated by the oversharing.

Although that level of thoroughness is sometimes too much, elsewhere it makes for a review that is refreshingly in-depth and informative, and that is where Chaw’s writing really shines. If you can look past a few poorly-constructed sentences and some vague spoilers, Chaw’s “Gravity” is a real delight.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation