Luciana   May 4th, 2012  

The expectations are sky-high for Alfonso Cuarón‘s Gravity, the director’s first film since 2006?s Children of Men. In fact, between the A-list cast (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), its intriguing sci-fi premise, its ambitious long shots, and gushing praise from colleagues like Guillermo del Toro, we have plenty of reason to believe the film could be his most brilliant yet. On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been dead wrong about a movie this early on.

This week in Pasadena, Gravity had its first test screening, and while the cut was apparently very rough, audiences saw enough to form some strong opinions about it. From here, it sounds like it could be this year’s Tree of Life — gorgeous, innovative, worthy of acclaim, and perhaps a little divisive. Hit the jump to see some reactions.

Our Germain Lussier didn’t actually attend the viewing, but he’s heard some others talking about it:

VERY unfinished but heard it’s visually ambitious, interesting but not world-changing.

The Film Stage‘s Jordan Raup, wasn’t present either, but the reactions he heard were more wholeheartedly positive:

Despite rough FX, hear good things about last night’s Gravity screening. “Masterpiece, phenomenal, visually amazing.” We’ll see in 200 days.

Not everyone was a fan, though. Briana Hernandez was blunt and harsh in her assessment:

Worst movie ever! #gravity

David Vendrell was more measured in his criticism:

Went to a test-screening for “Gravity” last night…it was far from being done, but it will be a visual feast when it is…and nothing more.

Happily for us Cuarón fans, Hernandez and Vendrell seem to be in the minority. A couple of more in-depth reviews were nothing short of glowing.

The Film Experience recapped the reaction of one of its readers who’d attended the screening:

Gravity is Cuarón’s masterpiece. It’s gonna be divided. Half will think it’s a self-indulgent borefest and half will think it’s amazingly brilliant. The movie is 80% just Sandra Bullock!

In addition, the anonymous lucky bastard called Cuarón “insanely monumental,” and predicted several Oscar nominations — especially for Bullock, who landed the lead after a messy casting process that saw folks like Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman falling away:

He went on to say that he thinks its her best work, particular in the final fifteen minutes (from which he assumes they’ll draw an Oscar clip should that time come) but that the film is Cuarón’s. He called likely nominations for Visual Effects, Picture, Director, Editing (“breathless” action), and Cinematography which he calls “amazing”. Regarding the latter, though, did anyone expect less from eternal Oscar bridesmaid Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life, Children of Men) and Michael Seresin (Midnight Express)?

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