Posted on February 27, 2014
An average space mission turns disastrous in this impressive and original dramatic thriller from Alfonso Cuaron. With just two central characters – seasoned astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and first timer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) – Gravity is powerful in its intimacy with the audience. As Stone is torn away from the mission to float alone in space we keenly feel her anxiety and despair.
Cuaron adds Gravity to his eclectic filmography which includes Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and 2006 Oscar nominated sci-fi drama Children Of Men. Opening on a fairly ordinary spacewalk, Gravity turns the beauty and serenity of space on its head, to give us a visceral experience of space as a hostile environment. Impressive 3D gives these unusual surroundings powerful realism and makes Gravity a mesmerising spectacle. Big on details, Cuaron beautifully captures the essence of space, even replicating the muffled audio of space communication.
Co-written by Alfonso and his son Jonas, Gravity gives a vivid impression of what it might feel like to be alone space and the result is acutely claustrophobic. As Cuaron hones in on Stone’s panic, gasping for air behind her protective suit, anxiety builds to astonishing proportions.
“Original and visceral with breathtaking visuals”
The script focuses almost entirely on Stone as she copes with her isolation and, paired with an outstanding performance from Sandra Bullock, this gives Gravity a powerful, original feel. Clooney too is perfectly cast, although in a familiar role as the cheeky, flirtatious male lead. Despite it’s minimal cast, Gravity does not tire as the script finely balances action with a personal perspective. Frequently tapping into the emotional side of his thriller, Cuaron’s Gravity is notable for its moving scenes as Stone bravely contemplates imminent death.
Cuaron reminds us of the fragility of life and our place in the universe while delivering a year best thriller. Original and visceral with breathtaking visuals, Gravity is like no other film you’ll see this year.
VERDICT: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ 5/5
Out on DVD in the US this week and in the UK on 3 March. This review was first published in November 2013.
For more information, see the official website