Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gravity (2013)

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Synopsis: Sandra Bullock stars as medical engineer Ryan Stone aboard the STS-157 space shuttle. On her first mission an annoying setback quickly turns into a deadly reality. Suddenly Stone and the only other surviving astronaut, Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney), face nearly impossible odds for survival. Stone’s perseverance is put to the test to find out just how far she is willing to go to once again feel the pull of gravity.

Reviewer’s Rating: 4.5/5 reels


In the film Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón manages to create a world in which the audience not only feels lost in space with the characters, but where the audience is also on the edge of their seats, sucking in oxygen while something as foreign as space suddenly becomes an all too real death-threat. As a director of many films including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Cuarón is no stranger to suspense, and this film definitely does not disappoint.

Gravity’s story is incredibly well written. There is a very visible character arc where Ryan Stone transforms from a panicking mess who has no motivation for life to a perseverant woman who chooses to believe in life’s purpose and value. The script manages to explore core values such as the meaning of life, the purpose of living, and the power of love, while simultaneously being both humorous and believable.

The cinematography too is not only breathtakingly stunning but is also so believable that it never once draws the viewer out of the story; instead it keeps the audience experiencing space in all of its vastness. In order to preserve the believability of this film, Cuarón even went so far as to develop a new special technique to give the realistic sense of having zero gravity on camera.

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are fantastic actors and almost perfectly cast for this film. The only reservation this reviewer had about Bullock was that she seems very much like a rookie astronaut and not at all the sort of person that NASA would spend a fortune to send into space. That being said, Stone’s credibility with NASA is well established at the beginning of the film. Also, it is important to note that Stone’s rookie tendencies would be very normal for anyone experiencing the world of space for the first time. In that regard, Bullock completely brings to life the feeling of having no control over one’s surroundings and no reason to live, while still finding a very real purpose for life out of the chaos.

This film is very ambitious in that it is extremely artistic, has only one character the majority of the time, and yet still attempts to entertain the average moviegoer. Cuarón, however, does an incredible job of keeping the audience engaged the entire time. The film is the perfect length with just enough suspense to leave the audience gasping for breath at the end of the film and marveling at the force of gravity.

By: Rebecca Strauss

{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Well, I have to say I am not a big fan of desert island movies where the only thing inhabiting the screen for two hours is an actor and a volleyball (Cast Away reference). So, when the previews for this film came out, I was skeptical, especially because they only seemed to show Sandra Bullock floating into space and gave no indication of a plot. But then I read this review--4.5 reels with comments like "edge of their seat," and "audience engaged the entire time." I am yet to see Gravity, though I am now tempted if only to prove myself wrong and to find a film in this genre I like. At the very least, I agree with this reviewer that Clooney and Bullock are good actors, which might be reason enough to give this movie a shot.

  2. I learned about the film Gravity at Comic-Con 2013. Alfonso Cuarón was promoting his film, but to be honest I was only interested in the fact that he directed a Harry Potter film and was sitting right in front of me. I just wasn’t interested in seeing a movie where a character (played by Sandra Bullock none the less) floats off into space – which is all the preview gives us – because, lets be honest, it is so obvious what is going to happen. By the time the movie came out in theaters, my mom dragged me to it and we saw it in 3D. Wow I was so wrong and I completely agree with your sitting at the edge of the seat comment. I saw the movie twice and still found myself biting my nails throughout the movie. I had no idea that Cuarón had developed “a new special technique to give the realistic sense of having zero gravity on camera”, I guess I should have paid more attention at Comic-Con! Whatever he did, the results were amazing.

    I have to disagree with your comment about Bullock seeming like a rookie astronaut being a negative thing; in the film we discover that she has only trained for about 6 months or so to do this one mission – she technically isn’t even an astronaut, so seeing her freak out as a rookie would make sense to the film. I think her performance is so brilliant!

    I agree 100% about the beauty of the cinematography – and even the mis-en- scene; every little thing was perfectly artistically placed for the whole of the film and it was just beautiful. One of my favorite movie placements were the two scenes, one earlier, and one at the very end, that make you think of a newborn – I don’t want to go too much into detail about it because I don’t want to spoil any part of the movie, but whoever has seen the movie will understand.

    Finally I have to make note of how accurate the film is, if this were to really happen. There have been lots of discussions with scientists about the accuracy of Gravity, and the movie only gets about two things wrong: one being that her tears wouldn’t float off her face; that can be forgiven because it is visually beautiful, plus this isn’t a documentary, there can be some accuracy errors. The second I won’t say because I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but it has to do with George Clooney.


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