A real, 21st century space adventure that touches the heart of the human spirit.
When their mission is thwarted after debris from an exploded satellite crashes into their NASA ship, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and first-time astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) must work together to survive. But soon into their ordeal, the experienced Kowalski sacrifices himself to save Stone. Now she must survive on her own, miles above the Earth, in the most hostile environment there is. What follows is a journey inside space exploration and the dangers astronauts face every time they leave Earth to expand our horizons as a species.
The unique vision and voice of director Alfonso Cuaron is once again put on display in this stunning visual spectacle that takes all the sci-fi out of human space exploration and shows us the real truth is just as spectacular as our imagination. Only a director as daring as Cuaron could put together an entire movie with only two actors that appear on screen. For, though there are additional voices heard and additional humans in a few scenes, no other faces are ever shown. In this 90 minute journey into true, modern space operations, Alfonso Cuaron expertly bounces us back and forth between the beauty and the danger; between triumph and tragedy. Finally by creating a movie with only one primary character, Cuaron explores the truth that a person’s true nature only comes out when they are by themselves.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are simply brilliant as always. Clooney’s character, admittedly is very much like most of his characters, so it’s easy to see he doesn’t have to work hard to perform it. Nevertheless, his character brings wit and charm to the film that helps the audience calm down as they root for Sandra Bullock’s character to hopefully survive this crazy ordeal. What more can be said about Sandra Bullock? Though a very different story, this movie reminds me of CastAway in which Tom Hanks was isolated on an island having to work hard to survive and eventually make it home. In Gravity Sandra Bullock lends her enormous talent and polished skill to that same challenge of carrying a movie all by herself. Her emotional journey speaks to the audience as she wrestles with her fears, her doubts in herself, and the reality of her chances of survival. What brings even more power to her performance is the pain she carries in her personal life which makes her question whether she really wants to fight to live when her loved ones are already waiting for her when she dies.
In this beautifully written story of survival, the search for inner strength, and believing in one’s own worth, Cuaron allows us all to get a little taste of one of our most popular dreams: to explore outer space. So when you next visit the theater, take the journey up above the planet, and see for yourself what makes it so central to our human experience.