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Owen Gleiberman’s “Gravity” Review Gives Fans Something to Ponder

In response to Owen Gleiberman’s 892‑word review of Gravity on Entertainment Weekly

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Owen Gleiberman’s “Toronto 2013: Alfonso Cuaron’s hypnotic ‘Gravity’ is the space odyssey as head trip” combines a sense of immediacy with a fantastic analysis that’s sure to please his audience—and will doubtless keep them thinking long after they’ve left his review.

Hypnotic Gravity begins with a candid approach to the modern miracles that thrill entertainment-seekers in this day and age. The conceit is that the campy days of yore have been replaced by experiences that can be taken easily for granted in spite of their impossibility even a decade or so ago.

But instead of dwelling on where entertainment has been, or even where it’s going, Gleiberman is far more interested in what it’s done.  Hypnotic Gravity demonstrates in three dimensions exactly what that is. Superbly crafted sentences at times address the audience directly.

(What would be a misstep for a critic of a lesser calibre here works in Hypnotic Gravity‘s favor.)

This is a work that concerns itself less with a matter-of-fact take on film (in general or specific) and more about how his audience can be expected to relate: a winning strategy that invites audiences to inhabit the review. Clever pop culture references make the final act particularly compelling.

The only point at which Hypnotic Gravity loses its footing is at the very end, where it spells outright what the audience is surely smart enough to have concluded on its own. Fortunately by that point, Gleiberman has already won readers over with crowd-pleasing, critical mastery. A triumph.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation