Cert:12A Runtime:91 mins Director:Alfonso Cuarón Writers:Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón Cast:Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Clear skies with a chance of satellite debris
It has been a very long time since Alfonso Cuarón gave us Children of Men. Now with all the film festivals out of the way, Britain can finally witness Gravity in all it’s glory. I must admit after watching the trailer originally I personally thought meehhh George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in a film passs. But when you throw Alfonso Cuarón to the mix I was in for the long hall. The UK seems to have had the short straw with the release of Gravity as it seems the rest of the planet saw it a month ago. So in a nutshell what is Gravity? Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone – tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into darkness. Alfonso Cuarón shows that he is one of the few directors who knows how to use 3D technology to its full potential.
I have repeatedly been disappointed to see that most Hollywood directors stick to their traditional formula of fast-paced cuts, not seeming to care how annoying this is to the viewers who constantly have to re-focus their eyes and lose the sensation of floating along with the action. Cuarón however knows that long takes is the stuff that dreams are made of. He got plenty of practice in his 2D masterpiece Children of Men (on which Emmanuel Lubezki also was the cinematographer), and even though Gravity is more reliant on CGI we are still treated to a number of astonishing long takes that sends us on a crazy roller-coaster ride that might just get you space-sick. This is how 3D should be used!The story has its flaws, but even they are minor. The plot is almost non-stop excitement and it manages to toy with my emotions on several occasions. The prospect of dying alone in the dark void sure comes through in all its scariness. George Clooney is steady as a rock and gives a great performance, but the big star is Sandra Bullock. As a rookie astronaut who struggles with all her strength, she uses her entire array of abilities and is just amazing.
The backdrop of the Earth below is portrayed in its full breath-taking beauty, as is the starry sky above, and the detailed spacecraft in between. The motion of objects in microgravity and near-vacuum give us the rules of the game, and even people who aren’t too well read on rocket science should be able to follow.This film is a visual delight and a pure show of state-of-the-art film making. It takes the audience on a wild ride just over the life-giving Earth which looks so close but is so far away for the poor space travellers who desperately struggle to survive. I highly recommend seeing Gravity at the cinema in 3D. It just won’t be the same on your home screen. I just want to go back and watch it again. I want Gravity to win a bunch of Oscars. Definitely for cinematography and visual effects. Hopefully also for acting, directing and best picture. This is a movie experience unlike any other.