Sandra Bullock and George Clooney headline the incredible new film from Alfonso Cuaron. Gravity is exceptional in every frame and is a technical wonder of filmmaking. There is palpable tension throughout the entire running time requiring a gritted teeth resolve to endure the events with the characters rather than disconnecting. Cuaron has crafted a superb film that relies on a truthful performance from Bullock as much as it does his exquisite and stunning camera work.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play a medical engineer and an astronaut on a mission to provide repairs to the Hubble telescope. An accident leaves them adrift in a space battle for survival and Ryan Stone (Bullock) must learn to face her past if she wants to make it back to Earth.
Alfonso Cuaron makes all the right choices with his direction and goes against the blockbuster grain at every turn. There is a rabid insistence on realistic portrayals of what happens in space that are not commonplace in today’s space movies. For example, there is no sound in space. This fact is represented in the film. Much of the film is the sound of Bullock’s voice paired with a haunting and tense score.
The camerawork is what truly amazes about Gravity. The film opens with almost fifteen minutes of footage without a cut. The camera moves as if it is in zero gravity with a floating effect throughout the entire film. There seem to be no cheats and all the CG matches effortlessly with the actors. One is left to wonder how this amazing camerawork was achieved.
Gravity is almost exclusively Sandra Bullock’s vehicle. In addition to being the only actor on screen for the majority of the film she provides the emotional base. She roots the film with an honesty that plays somewhat off of the audience’s feelings towards Bullock herself. Bullock is known for being an everywoman sort of actress with a relatability that the film depends on. The audience is expected to feel for Bullock’s character because they generally feel for Bullock. This is not to say that Bullock is ineffective in the film. She puts in a solid performance with no showy overtones. She is realistic without being over the top which may hurt her Oscar chances but serves the film brilliantly.
Gravity is a wonderful start to the Oscar season and is a thankful respite from the head rattling blockbuster season. Alfonso Cuaron crafts an at times unbearably tense emotional story with dazzling camerawork that should be considered essential viewing for film lovers.