Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is, to put it bluntly, a spectacular viewing experience. What most pleases me about this movie is that it features one actress, Sandra Bullock, and one actor, George Clooney, and that’s it. It is an hour and thirty minutes long, much of it dedicated not to action, but to thoughtful dialogue and gorgeous cinematography. It is a movie seemingly taken out of the 1970s and then given perhaps the best visual effects yet seen on the big screen. This is a movie that would have fit perfectly into that period of unrivaled directorial control. Cuarón’s vision is at the forefront for the entirety of the running time. Gravity is his first film in seven years, and I must say it was worth the wait.
The Oscar buzz around Sandra Bullock is deserved. She owns this role, despite being not the first second, third, fourth, etc. choice to play it. Clooney basically plays Clooney, but that takes nothing away from his maverick character. The score is very good when it is called for; the movie is not afraid to make use of silence as another tool in building tension. And speaking of tension, oh boy! Is this an intense movie! I hardly moved through the whole thing I was riveted to my seat. The visual effects: to be honest, they weren’t even something I really payed attention to, for the simple fact they were so realistic I just forgot they were there. That, mind you, is a good thing.
On a personal note, I felt as though I could really connect with Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone. As someone who is no stranger to loneliness and feelings of isolation, her struggles became my struggles. The movie is really about isolation more than anything else. Space is simply a backdrop to Ryan’s state of mind, or perhaps even symbolic of it. From cold apathy to desolation to salvation through epiphany, Ryan’s journey is both compelling and inspiring. I’m not afraid to say I was tearing up at various times in the movie. The drama, not the special effects, is what makes this movie special.
Final Verdict: 4* IMDB User Rating: 8.7 Metascore: 96
Recommended Listening: “Space Oddity”, David Bowie