Gravity is a gripping suspense movie with a great premise and some incredible special effects. Luckily, this effect heavy movie does not skimp on the acting or the plotline and it pays off well.
The movie starts with an experienced astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) working with Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a nervous medical engineer who is on her first trip into space. They are there to work on the Hubble Telescope. Then, disaster strikes and the debris from a demolished satellite come flying at them. Kowalski manages to recover but Stone doesn’t and instead goes tumbling out into space, with no connection to the people back on earth and no way to get back. The movie follows Kowalski and Stone as they try to find any way to get back to earth.
The movie manages to be both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. There is very little dialog, but that doesn’t stop both Bullock and Clooney from displaying a full range of emotions. Bullock doesn’t go into full on weepy mode in order to convince us her character is suffering. Instead, she is all business holding back a wall of panic that she won’t dare to let free. Clooney plays the astronaut as a joke-making good old boy and is more of a side kick than a main character. However, he is great as Bullock’s backup and only connection to humanity.
Director Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) could have turned this movie into standard sci-fi trope with tons of special effects and coincidental rescues. However, instead he focused on realism and creating a believable plotline. In the end it worked, because this is something that really could happen. There are no convenient rescues or mismatched teams of astronauts sent to help. Instead, there is only Bullock and Clooney and they are on their own. The director takes great advantage of the silence of space in order to set up the hopeless, empty feeling that the characters are facing.
The special effects can not be ignored in this movie. While many movies out there are available in 3D, this is one that is an absolute must see in 3D. The most amazing shots in the movie are done in CGI, however, that doesn’t mean that Gravity bases all its excitement on CGI. Instead, clever camera movements make the 0 gravity feel of the movie believable. The opening shot of the movie is a full 17 minutes long, but you won’t get sick of it. Thanks to the awesome special effects, Gravity is probably the closest most of us will ever get to going into space.
Simply stated, I see Oscar in someone’s future. If Bullock doesn’t at least get a nomination for her panicked, weightless portrayal of Dr. Ryan Stone, I’m calling foul. In addition, the director of this movie, as well as the cinematographer deserves at least an honorable mention.
Gravity is a movie that will make you grip your chair and thank god you are not an astronaut. This movie fully displays the abilities of a large range of talented individuals and we are sure to hear a lot about it come Oscar season.