Gravity is a sci-fi game-changer. Alfonso Cuaron has done something truly extraordinary and crafted his masterpiece.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are on a space walk working on the Hubble telescope when things go horribly wrong, as seen in the Gravity trailer. A nearby Russian satellite was destroyed and something utterly unexpected happened: The debris from it shoots into orbit and comes crashing into the shuttle. Bullock and Clooney are in the most perilous of positions.
These Gravity clips show that Bullock got detached and was sent hurdling through space. Clooney, meanwhile, is also flying solo without a ship to return to, and although Bullock can hear him on the radio, she is spinning so much she cannot make out where he is… frankly, she can’t find what’s left of their ship, the International Space Station or anything.
Whether Bullock finds her way back to Earth or not is the crux of Gravity, but does not even barely scratch the surface of what Cuaron’s film is all about.
Might we say with supreme importance: Gravity must be seen in IMAX 3D. From the opening moments, it is easy to see this is unlike any other film seen prior that takes place in space. High above the Earth, the camera slowly pans across the planet to our astronauts working on their mission while Mission Control (the voice of Ed Harris) guides them from below.
There is spectacle, and there is what is felt by the audience. One can easily feel that we are up there with Bullock and Clooney. The beauty, glory, splendor and scariness of space are all captured. Cuaron has painstakingly overseen the building of movie-making technology that enables that to happen.
But, it isn’t just his gadgets. The director himself illustrates his uncanny gift of the cinematic to orchestrate an entire movie experience that will completely change how films set in space are shot… and frankly, feel. Because at the same time Movie Fanatic marveled at the spectacle onscreen, there is an atomic bomb of emotional power that accompanies his technical marvel.
Bullock’s character is scared. She is not emotionally whole. For a person going through the terror of looking death in the face, that is not a good place to be. But, through the impeccable talents of the Oscar winner and the story she is given by co-screenwriters Cuaron and his son Jonas, the actress is able to use everything in her toolbox to bring to life one of the more compelling character studies we’ve seen this year. There is a journey Bullock’s Ryan Stone takes that at its core is a liberation of the soul piece of art.
Then, there’s fellow Oscar winner Clooney. His veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski is on his last mission before retirement, and how he handles the terror of uncertainty is a tribute to the men and women who soar through the sky for the human race. In our Alfonso Cuaron interview, he spoke about the precision with which these people head into space and how each plan has a back-up plan and 20 back-up plans to the back-up plans.
Not only does Cuaron craft a visual marvel, an emotional powder keg that will leave you gasping for air on numerous levels, but he has taken what is in many ways the simplest of concepts and given audiences something truly remarkable.
In short, our Gravity review believes that what we have witnessed… is history.
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