Stars: Ssndra Bullock, George Clooney and Ed Harris (Voice)
Released: 8th November 2013 (UK)
Reviewer: Luke Walkley
Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has earned rave reviews stateside and with a UK release date over a month after its US release, anticipation has added to expectation and it was up to Sandra Bullock and George Clooney to deliver.
After a routine spacewalk becomes a catastrophe in which their shuttle is destroyed, Dr Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Veteran Astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) are left stranded as the sole survivors, tethered to each other and floating out into the abyss of space.
Opening to a stunning panoramic of Earth, we are immediately transported to the stars above. From the offset it’s clear that Gravity was going to be a visual treat.
In never directly telling the viewer what to think, the imagery and symbolism Cuaron and cinematographer Lubezki create in Gravity’s 90 minutes are truly a work of art, images of rebirth and the womb are entwined in the beautiful visual tapestry that has been weaved. Visually, Gravity is without a doubt the film of the year.
The inclusion of 3D had been cause for concern, but in a similar vein to Avatar, Gravity relies of the depth of field aspect without falling into the post-production 3D failures that have cost so many films in recent years. Clever 3D touches only add to the sense of claustrophobia created despite the vastness of infinite space.
Composing a symphony of silence with a distinct (and accurate) lack of sound in space, the atmosphere created throughout the movie is chilling, constantly evolving and emotionally relentless, leaving you gasping for air in the same way as Dr Stone. Yet, when sound is used it is incorporated perfectly capturing the mood and breaking up the wall of silence.
A simple yet strong performance leaves Bullock at the forefront for a Best Actress nomination in a few weeks time; she rarely breaks sweat as she moves seamlessly between her characters fear of death and then acceptance of her impending demise. Whilst Clooney provides a little relief to the film’s dark tone, he compliments Stone’s inexperience with his experienced Kowlasky who maintains his cool demeanor even in light of their seemingly inevitable fate. Ed Harris provides the films biggest support of the leads as Mission Control, bouncing back and forth with Clooney’s character as Kowalsky regales him with stories heard one-hundred times over.
The whole premise of the film is ambiguous, both the survival or loss of the films main character’s are open to interpretation, whilst Stone’s journey through space, floating with no sense of direction are representative of her life back on Earth, especially after we hear Stone’s heartbreaking back-story. Gravity forces the viewer to question the outcome on purpose as such, it’s hard to find fault with Gravity when you enjoy it overall.
Gravity is certainly a contender for my film of the year and with just over a month left, the experience that is Gravity, will be hard to beat. For the first time in a long time, I felt completely lost in a movie, enduring every high and low that our heroine experiences.
Silence speaks a thousand words and with Gravity, all of them are positive. Beautiful
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