Gravity Movie Review
In space, no one can hear you scream. In space, you can also die a lonely, silent death, a fate that is always only moments away in the exhilarating thriller Gravity, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Breathless can be used both literally and figuratively.
Space is the most hostile place on Earth because it isn't even on Earth, a non-place where temperatures can swing hundreds of degrees, where there is no oxygen, sound or significant gravity. It is here that Alfonso Cuarón, director of Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the fantastic Children of Men, sets his movie.
Gravity isn't so much science fiction as it is science reality. It is set in modern time, where the characters - NASA astronauts - use real technology and are limited by real-world physics. It is clear Cuarón went to great lengths to be as realistic as possible, the result being an extremely detailed, beautiful and believable thriller set in the most extreme of situations.
Gravity is one of the most intense movies to grace the silver screen in a long time. As space debris whips around in terrifying gyrations and Sandra Bullock hurtles through space, I found myself hugging my own arms, leaning to get out of the way of satellite shrapnel and, once, looking down to make sure my seatbelt was secured.
Few movies ratchet up the suspense like this one, and while there were little tiny things that didn't work for me - so tiny, I struggle to even point them out - Gravity deserves all the recognition it deserves. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are both very good in it; Bullock is nearly a lock for a Best Actress nomination simply because, though I'd argue she is "very good" but not "amazing." Still, Bullock carries the picture and makes us care for her, even though it's impossible to envision a scenario where she makes it back to Earth alive.
If the movie were to have a fault, it's that Cuarón begins to push the realm of believability just ever so slightly; it's only noticeable because he's so fixated on realism in the first place. Every situation the characters encounter works, but pieced together it's all almost too much. Almost.
Gravity is intense, a visual spectacle, breathtaking, beautiful, frightening and perhaps the closest thing we'll see to a masterpiece all year. Even more, this is a movie that has to be seen on the big screen to be experienced, because that's exactly what it is: an experience.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.