Despite the many, many technical mistakes, I really enjoyed Gravity. It showed the true wonder, danger, and hope of space exploration. Sure they got the orbital mechanics wrong and I probably blurted out “BS!” every other minute, but much more important is that they got the approach that any pilot or astronaut takes: that you have to be prepared for everything, and deal with any situation with a level head and think your way through it. Most of all, the message that just being in space is astounding and the pinnacle of human achievement makes it worth watching. I hope this will restore some of the wonder of space for everyone that watches it.
To add my usual feminist commentary: Gravity fails both the regular and reverse Bechdel test because there aren’t any named characters beyond the two leads. If you count the side conversations with non-named characters, then it passes. Much more importantly, showing a woman accomplishing the impossible *in space* and being sympathetic to her foibles as a human being is amazing by hollywood standards.
SPOILER ALERT: I talk about specific parts of the movie after this point.
Sure, it has it’s problems. I’m not fond of how Dr Stone’s character uses the Kawalski’s dream as a crutch to get her through. I’m also not fond of Kawalski’s character as a cowboy pilot. And yes, the scene of Ryan floating in “space undergarments” can be seen as objectifying. But at least she was appropriately dressed for the scene, and I think it added to the movie. I’ll admit to having enjoyed it, and though that doesn’t make it good it also doesn’t automatically make it bad either.
I’d call this a rare feminist win. If even a handful of girls or younger women see it and take inspiration, then mission accomplished.
I just can’t wait for it to come out on Blueray with a commentary track from Chris Hadfield.