WRITTEN BY: Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron
DIRECTED BY: Alfonso Cuaron
STARRING: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
RATING: 4 stars
If you see just one film in 3D this year, make sure it is Gravity. You will be pleased to know that all the great things you have been hearing about the film are true. It is visually stunning with amazing cinematography and special effects, including flying debris, and Sandra Bullock's performance is great. She basically carries the entire film by herself. Gravity is only about 90 minutes long, but the film pulls you in and will keep you on the edge of your seat with its intensity. I have never felt so good about feeling claustrophobic.
Medical engineer Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney). But during a routine spacewalk, the Russians shoot down a satellite that forces an emergency for the American crew. Their shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky tethered together and drifting alone in space. They have lost all communication with Earth, and with that, any chance for rescue. They decide the only way to survive is to make it to another space station before they run out of oxygen.
The really eerie aspect about space that Alfonso Cuaron's film cleverly depicts is that there is no sound and objects can fly at you at huge speeds without much warning. A large part of the film involves panicked breathing from Bullock's character as she runs low on her oxygen supply. But rather than that being annoying to listen to, it drags you in further to her ordeal and you feel almost just as suffocated and worried as her - but in a really good way. Meanwhile, Clooney is basically playing his charming self in Gravity and that is totally fine because he adds vital humour to an otherwise highly suspenseful film.
The film stumbles a little towards the end with an overly dramatic moment that was not needed in such a powerful film. But ultimately, Gravity is an exhausting but rewarding survival story that is much better than the over-rated Cast Away and just as good as the likes of 127 Hours and Life of Pi.