Once in a while a film comes around that demonstrates the ever-expanding potential of cinema. The film, in this instance, is Gravity. Four years in the making, director Alfonso Cuarón has undertaken the massive task of creating a whole film in zero gravity, whilst also managing to tell a thought-provoking, terrifying, and often beautiful story.
Sandra Bullock stars as astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone on her first mission aboard the space shuttle STS-157. A novice to space travel, she is thankfully accompanied by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky, played by a charismatic and reassuring George Clooney. Within the first five minutes of the film starting the shuttle is blown to pieces, leaving our ill-fated astronauts adrift and alone in space. With limited oxygen and no earthbound communication, they must somehow get back to Earth whilst battling the hostile elements of space.
As great as Clooney is (and he is great), there is no mistaking that this is Bullock’s show. Starting out as a nervy first timer, she quickly adapts to her chaotic surroundings to convincingly become a Ripley-esque figure. This is no mean feat considering the film folds out in near real time. And I haven’t even mentioned the visuals yet, which range from impressive to awe-inspiring. An ingenious use of 3D means you’ll be flinching every time a shard of space shuttle hurtles at full pelt towards your face.
Whilst the endless peril can feel exhausting at times, this doesn’t detract from a completely unique experience. Do yourself a favour and catch this on the biggest screen you can.