Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
After a catastrophic event in space, a medical engineer (Bullock) and a veteran astronaut (Clooney) struggle to survive.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth summary of the movie you’ll have to expect a few spoilers as well. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie so simple in its concept, yet somehow complicated in execution. Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and his son Jonás (Year of the Nail) wrote this film together, combining their skills and Alfonso’s fascination with astronauts. What they came up with is a unique blend of science-fiction and drama that works on many levels. Alfonso was also lucky enough to get the right people to star in his movie. George Clooney (The Descendants) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) pretty much make up the cast for this stunning film.
Nothing magical happens in this film without some of the most stunning visuals ever created for a film. This exceeded my expectations on every level. I thought I had seen C.G.I. at its best when I saw Life of Pi, but this takes things to a whole new level. From beginning to end, this movie is just beautiful. A story of this kind only works when it’s presented in such a way that you have no doubt that it’s actually happening. The reality created through the scenery of space becomes almost another character. James Cameron (Titanic) was quoted as saying, “I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.”
Sandra Bullock continues to evolve as an actress and this role is something entirely new and wonderful. She brings her character to life with emotion and intensity, making it easy to get emotionally involved with the story. In typical fashion, George Clooney nails his role as well. The awkward chemistry of their characters works nicely throughout the film. Despite being opposite in many ways, the actors manage to convey a unique connection between their characters. I’d be surprised if Bullock doesn’t find herself in the awards conversation this coming season.
One of the better aspects of the film is the way the filmmakers paid attention to the technical details. The film gives off the impression that it was written by someone at NASA. Still, the movie doesn’t ever seem to be bogged down by the details. None of the technical aspects seem to get in the way of the emotion, even when those details are a major aspect of the moment.
It’s important to mention that this movie takes place in the vast expanse of space, but it feels very intimate. The score is unobtrusive but brilliant. The camera work places you just where you want to be. The visuals are intense by design, yet majestic even in the more difficult moments of the film. In many ways this movie will leave you feeling a bit powerless as you watch an intensely personal drama unfold.
If you’d like to see one of the better films of 2013, and perhaps one of the better dramas of the last couple of years, this is one to see. The acting and cinematography combine to make an incredible experience out of Gravity. I would recommend this to anyone who loves films about space, or intense dramas. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.