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Mark Kermode’s “Gravity €“ Review” Breathes New Life Into Dormant Genre

In response to Mark Kermode’s 1015‑word review of Gravity on Observer [UK]

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Many film criticism enthusiasts believe that everything to be said about Gravity has been said. Mark Kermode proves them wrong in his wonderful, if belated, “Gravity—review.” Abandoning his usually brief style, Kermode proves himself a master of the long form review as well. It makes one wonder what other tricks Kermode has been hiding.

Review is a real treat. There is something here for everyone, including the jaded reader who believes to have seen it all. Even when Kermode indulges in predictable discussions, such as the use of 3D, there is a palpable newness that should excite and amaze even the most dubious.

Kermode’s work is able to embrace and buck the tropes of the genre, its length allowing for these shifting approaches to feel natural and appropriate. Where Kermode begins with the familiar 2001 hook, the second half of the review finds him refuting its ubiquitous use.

Kermode benefits from a bit of distance. His writing is part of third era of Gravity criticism. The first era was made up of almost breathless and endless praise. This was followed by a realistic focusing on the film’s flaws. Kermode’s work is perhaps the high point of the next chapter. The synthesizing of the two approaches. A work that manages to celebrate without including an endless stream of impotent caveats. Review is built on an understanding of Gravity‘s place in the world of cinema and celebrates it. It’s a celebration that should be enjoyed by all.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation