‘Gravity’ May Be Film’s Most Thrilling—and Stressful—90 Minutes
Published: October 2, 2013
Bullock, who is front and center for most of the movie, delivers the emotional and physical goods as a woman who has nothing to live for and fights to survive. Saddled with a maudlin dead child back story, she sells the script’s hokier moments in an impressively restrained performance. It’s made all the more impressive when you consider that it’s essentially a one-woman show played against an empty green-screen.
Clooney’s calmly sarcastic and self-deprecating commander, on the other hand, plays directly into the actor’s laid-back charms; he’s amusing and reassuring in equal doses—exactly the guy you want yapping in your ear piece as you float helplessly through space.
As an instance of populist filmmaking, Gravity is as good as it gets—teeth-clenchingly intense and gloriously immersive. But as an instance of art, the conventionality of its spiritual aspirations denies it of true classic status (The Life Of Pi had similar shortcomings). Nevertheless, I defy anyone to deny the gut-wrenching impact of its weightless action sequences or the visceral profundity of its earthbound final moments. Cuarón demonstrates that cell phone screens and tricked out home theaters are no match for his big screen mastery.
Dir. Alfonso Cuarón; writ. Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón; feat. Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris (PG-13)
Opens Oct 3 at Santikos Palladium, Silverado 16 and Bijou; Oct 4 at Regal cinemas and other Santikos theaters