A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer[s]: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men might be the best visually directed movie I have ever seen. This conventionally shot film has held that title [according to me] for seven years of cinema, including the reinvention and revolution of 3D production. Not included in those seven years since Children of Men is another film written and directed by Cuarón. In that time, I have been patiently waiting for the return of the master. And then, in 2010, it was released that he was working on a movie based in space. Alfonso Cuarón and outer-space. That’s all I needed to hear.
Gravity is the story of two, medical engineer Ryan Stone [Bullock] and the veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski [Clooney], astronauts on a run-of-the-mill NASA mission. While performing maintenance on a satellite, a slew of debris from other destroyed satellites takes an unexpected route change and collides with our satellite and crew. Thrown into space and left to their own devices, Stone and Kowalski must find a way to get home.
Writer/director/editor/producer Alfonso Cuarón and my favorite cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki [Children of Men, Tree of Life] have paired together again to make a pure marvel of visual cinema, and they take full advantage of 3D and all available production technologies. Breathtaking views of planet Earth from deep in outer space, with a full array of sunlight and lack-there-of, are second to none. The violent crashing of space debris and the effects of zero gravity are so realistic and authentic that it made me sick to experience the action scenes with the 3D accompaniment. And that sick feeling is what made me love this movie so damn much.
I have never found enjoyment in “scary”, horror films, and rarely do I appreciate them. To me, this is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. Floating alone, with communications severed, into the pure darkness and silence of outer-space is probably the single most horrifying thought I can possibly imagine. And again, the production being so authentic and convincing, this movie had me falling off the edge of my seat in gut-wrenching anxiety and dread. It was an effect I don’t know if I have experienced from film before. It was truly wonderful to walk out of the theater and be glad to feel the ground underneath my feet and have the uninterrupted shining of the sun. Thankfully, the film contains itself in a movie-story atmosphere of obvious fiction and imagination to keep the sanity of its viewers in-tact.
Clooney plays a classic charming, leading character who guides Bullock through their struggles, all while keeping the mood light and never letting Bullock forget how handsome he is. Bullock nails the role of a first time astronaut fighting through the fear of loss and death and transitioning into a powerful, accepting engineer who has to get shit done to survive. The rare idea of one or two actors carrying a movie alone is done well here.
4/4 – Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is a 90 minute heart attack; dreadfully authentic and truly frightening, this “lost in space” sci-fi thriller is one of the scariest films I have ever seen, and draws real reactions from its viewer. A once in a life time movie experience.