Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Director Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, a work of art four years in the making, stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first space shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command. During a space walk while Stone is making repairs, mission control warns them that debris from a strike on a Russian satellite has caused a chain reaction of destruction which is making its way to the location of their shuttle. Disaster strikes and the debris not only damages the shuttle, but causes Stone and Kowalsky to lose all contact with mission control and find themselves detached from their ship and stranded in space. Tumbling through space they remain determined to find a way to save themselves and make it back home.

This movie was breathtakingly, jaw-clenchingly and armrest grippingly great! I felt like my armrest was my tether (you'll hear that word alot during the movie) to the real world, and I was not letting go. If, no, when you go see this movie, see it on IMAX 3D like I did for you would be doing yourself and the movie a disservice by seeing it in any other format. The magnitude and majesty of each shot demands it. I'll never be an astronaut and get the chance to experience the grandeur of space in person, but after watching this movie, it feels like I just got pretty darn close to the real thing. The movie is dizzying in more ways than one; both literally dizzying as your eyes adjust to the tilted view of tumbling through space and zero gravity; and dizzying in the sheer scope and beauty of space, of our planet earth, of the sight of tears floating like crystalline pearls in front of you.

Bullock was great in her performance, conveying Stone's desperation in every gasp and panic-stricken stare, and deserves kudos not only for her acting but the incredible physicality of the role. I have to say though that George was just as phenomenal; his character's wit and humor serve to ground and tether us (there's that word again) to the human story that might otherwise get lost in all the CGI special effects. As to the CGI effects, they're so seamless that during not one second of the movie do you ever sit in awe of what is on the screen, you just accept it as real.

Is this a Best Picture Oscar winner? No, probably not. There isn't much of a plot or character development; the story mainly involves a chain of catastrophic events, a lot of heart pounding action, and two people struggling to survive. But is it a great movie that demands to be seen? Yes, a resounding yes; and if you watch it in IMAX 3D it's so much more than a movie, it's an awe-inspiring and at times frighteningly too real experience. So, book the babysitter and pull out the wallet, because this you've got to see.