Nearly everyone who will see Gravity is unlikely to ever visit outer space. The closest we get is flying in an aeroplane, 30,000ft up or however high it is exactly. Either way, aside from perhaps a handful more experiencing zero-gravity chambers or simulations, we will not feel the full force of nothingness, the emptiness of it all, the sheering and unavoidable still, black void.
In Gravity though – and if ever 3D is warranted, it is here – we can get a sense of that watched world above us, where stars shine and satellites transmit. And it is personalised and captured in Alfonso Cuaron’s new movie brilliantly. He has gifted wonderful shots of the power of space – the magnitude of what it can offer, and take away.
The cinematography and dazzling sequences alone are not what makes the film however, but their marriage with the characterisation and story we see unfold. Sandra Bullock is at her utter best here as a scientist drafted into space to service the Hubble Space Telescope, alongside veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney).
For Stone it is her first voyage into space and the audience can see the fear, wonder and scale of her journey – while with Kowalski, Clooney turns on the rugged charm and playfulness that only comes with experience to give us the other side. He brings wit and friendliness to a place where none can surely exist.
Bullock’s character meanwhile is carrying personal problems she had hoped to leave back on earth, and these come out as the pair is thrust into a seemingly unsolvable problem. Desperately, they are hit by debris mid-orbit as a Russian missile destroys a defunct satellite elsewhere, causing a domino effect. They are cast into the depths and lose contact with control on earth.
Together, they try to return home. And Cuaron grants us moving scenes of anxiety and despair. The imagery of it all is masterful and mesmerising, while Bullock and Clooney’s characters give feeling to the cosmic hollowness.
Gravity 3D is an exceptional film towards the end of a solid year for movies. It is a real experience to watch.
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Produced by: Alfonso Cuarón; David Heyman
Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Release: November 2013
Running time: 90 minutes
- Joshua Barrie
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