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Gravity: Soaring Towards the Oscars



Sandra Bullock & George Clooney Star in Gravity

Sandra Bullock & George Clooney Star in Gravity

The much hyped new movie from Alfonso Cuaron looks set to make huge money at the American box office after a reported $50 million opening weekend. This follows spectacular reviews from festival goers at New York, Venice and Telluride. The film looks practically unstoppable with both the box office figures and, more importantly, the critical acclaim to launch a strong Oscar campaign.

The film has taken seven years to make, as much of the technology needed to convincingly recreate zero gravity on screen did not exist, and it looks like it’s paying off in a big way. The use of 3D has been praised as one of the real strengths of the film, so much so that comparisons can be made to last year’s Life of Pi, only Gravity can also boast an exceptional, potentially Oscar-winning performance from Sandra Bullock. And if these figures are true, it would be the biggest ever opening for both Bullock and her co-star George Clooney.

Box office success is not the most reliable indicator for the Oscars, as the biggest hits are not guaranteed to translate into awards. In the last twenty years only three films have won Best Picture and gone to number one at the US box office for their year – Forrest GumpTitanic and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. But, a big run at the box office is also no deterrent to voters, so this certainly won’t damage Gravity‘s campaign.

But the question remains – can anything put a halt to the seemingly unstoppable momentum Gravity is building? Festivals give it standing ovations, critics love it, and clearly cinema audiences are going in their droves too, with not a bad review in sight. IMDB have an 8.7 rating after 10,848 reviews, and a whopping 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is currently hard to see any film going into awards season with more behind it than Gravity, and maybe next year’s race will be much more one-sided than we all predicted.

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