From Gravity’s opening shot, which lasts over 15 minutes, I was blown away.
The film follows two astronauts who were working on their space station when debris from a destroyed satellite comes flying by destroying their station and killing all of their crew. Stranded in space with little air, no contact with earth, and debris flying through every 90 minutes, the astronauts only hope is through their willpower to survive.
Gravity gives Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney the difficult task of carrying the film in which they are the only on screen actors. Not being a fan of Bullock, especially in the highly overrated film “The Blind Side,” I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see past her previous performances, thus hindering my enjoyment of the film. I never thought I would say this about Bullock in any movie, but I loved her performance.
We don’t learn much about her character, other than a tragic backstory which allows us to sympathize with her, but what Bullock brings in the scenes where her character truly believes that she is breathing her final breaths are spine tingling. The emotion she conveyed only using facial expressions should be enough for her to earn her second Oscar nomination. Clooney on the other hand unfortunately plays pretty much the same character he plays in every film, the everyman, but Clooney pulls it off as he does in every film.
Alfonso Cuaron, who also directed “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” which I find the most visually appealing of the series, directs Gravity showing both the beautiful and terrifying aspects of space. Throughout the film Cuaron uses the camera and 3D to make us feel like we are floating in space with these astronauts which makes it easy to lose yourself in the amazing visuals and haunting atmosphere.
Cuaron also wastes no time telling this story. With a run time of 91 minutes, Gravity is a very compact film that doesn’t waste a moment of screen time. From the moment the film starts it grabs the viewer and doesn’t let go until the closing credits roll. Many people think that there isn’t much left to show in the film other than what was shown in the trailer, but don’t be mistaken. Almost everything from the trailer is in the film’s opening scene. From then on out the film is a rollercoaster ride from hell.
The film’s writers, Cuaron and his brother Jonas, must have sat down to write this film with Murphy’s Law in mind, because anything that could possibly go wrong does. Every time we think Bullock is home free something disastrous happens, which makes for some great suspense. The tension had me slouched down as far in my seat as I could, and it didn’t help that I am not the biggest fan of space.