Gravity was undoubtedly one of the films of 2013, and a British one to boot thanks to a complex series of tax breaks and immigration laws. The big question, would it survive the journey to the small screen. Even Mark Kermode, well known hater of 3D, said Gravity should be seen in its intended format. It’s a vertigo inducing survival story that will have you holding your breath without even realising it. After 90 minutes you’ll feel like you’ve been through the emotional wringer on this one.
A team of three NASA astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) and an expendable extra (Phaldut Sharma) are on a spacewalk conducting repairs to the Hubble space telescope when a wave of interstellar space debris causes catastrophic damage to their shuttle and leaves them stranded in space.
It’s been seven years since Cuaron’s last directorial effort Children of Men and it looks as though he’s spent every minute of it on this. The CGI and 3D is flawless. Amazingly, despite the vastness of space in which the characters are adrift, Cuaron creates an intense feeling of claustrophobia inside the clumsy spacesuits as time and oxygen begins to run out. A cute nod to Apollo 13 with Ed Harris as the voice of Mission Control or ‘the blind’, who Stone and Kowalsky lose contact with soon after the accident.
The film stands on Bullock’s performance, which is outstanding. Her character is clearly out of her depth which makes her fight for survival all the more compelling. George Clooney is also good but like most of his roles he’s playing, well, George Clooney. He is the calming, steady presence when there is little hope.
Gravity is 90 minutes of pure adrenaline. In the raft of survival movies that have flooded the cinemas over the last few years this is by far one of the best and will win a slew of awards to prove it. Even James Cameron is in awe of the special effects here…what better praise is there than that?