Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Gravity

Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuarόn
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Seeing “Gravity” will kill any desire you have of wanting to go into space. For 90 minutes, you’re paralyzed with anxiety, as you watch Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski’s (George Clooney) hellacious and frightening attempt at survival after their space shuttle gets blasted and ruined by debris. You're truly along for the ride. Seeing it in 3D is visually spectacular, though I’m not totally convinced that it was necessary. I would have preferred to see it in 2D, but for my fellow weak stomachs out there, the additional dimension and glasses didn’t bother me like I thought it might.

My colleague likened Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” to Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” meets “Apollo 13.” Bullock nails this role. And she’s totally ripped. The Academy really should have saved her Oscar for this role, instead of wasting it on “The Blind Side.” Memories of Stone's daughter, and a monologue that has her wondering if anyone will mourn for her if she doesn’t survive, will bring you to tears. It’s a good thing I was wearing those 3D glasses.

As Kowalski, Clooney’s quips are expected but appreciated. His confidence in space balances her apprehension. Saying that the cinematography is stunning is an understatement. Seeing from Stone's POV, namely from inside her astronaut helmet, is an awesome perspective, one many of us will never have. When her O2 levels drop, you suddenly feel short of breath as well. Throughout the film, you wonder how many breaks Stone won’t get. Her character is a fighter, and the climax is nothing short of extraordinary.

This is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’ve heard it’s supposed to be the next “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but I don’t think that’s necessarily accurate. This is on a different level of scary. It’s spectacular.


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