Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón brings the world the highly-anticipated space thriller Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Described by Avatar director and all-round special effects Guru James Cameron as “the greatest space film ever done”, Gravity has received extremely positive feedback from across the pond.
Bullock, who has been tipped for an Oscar nomination for her performance, plays medical engineer and newbie astronaut Dr Ryan Stone. Her first trip off earth hits trouble when space debris hits their shuttle, destroying it and killing all of its crew bar herself, and space veteran Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). The pair find themselves all alone and without contact with earth. It is up to their own initiative to find a solution and quick – before the debris strikes again.
Cuarón’s attention to detail rewards the audience with one of the most visually pleasing films ever made. A movie that had been in development hell for several years due to Cuarón and his team’s ambitious technological needs, the end result proves that it was more than worth the wait. Bullock spoke of how it was the most surreal movie she has ever worked on. For the spacewalk scenes, everything other than the actors’ facial expressions were added digitally afterwards to allow Cuarón to create an atmosphere as accurate a representation of space as possible.
Bullock’s strong performance cannot be ignored, despite the enchanting nature of the special effects. The Oscar winner demonstrated a depth to her character that deserves praise in an environment that could easily see it overlooked. Vulnerable, yet with a hidden steely determination, Dr Ryan Stone fights against the odds in a very dignified manner. Clooney, the only other actor who sees actual face-time in the film, once again shines in the flamboyant, charmer role as Matt Kowalsky. He offers comedic relief to an otherwise serious, straight-edged piece of cinema.
Gravity is a visual masterpiece that will leave space fans licking their lips. From the beauty of earth, and the meticulous planning of Bullock and Clooney’s exact movements, to the beautiful silence of space that encapsulates our screen: Cuarón’s attention to detail will no doubt put him as a front runner when it’s time for awards season.
The only disappointment about the film is its unnecessary Armageddon-lite clichéd phrases [“It’s time to stop driving. It’s time to go home”] that plague the final scenes of the movie. Thankfully such grievances can be forgiven because of the overriding positives of a very special cinematic experience.