You realize you are in for a rare visual experience from “Gravity’s” opening shot. Finally, a movie where 3-D makes sense, not just a device to make more money. In fact, the 3-D is so terrific (and when seen in an IMAX theater even better), it’s hard to imagine “Gravity” without it.
“Gravity," directed by Alfonso Cuarón and written by Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón, dramatically shows and tells us what it would be like to be literally “lost in space.” “Tell” is important because actors and acting are still important and necessary ingredients in order for a movie to be complete, regardless of the special effects.
As “Gravity” begins Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are on a routine space mission to make repairs at the space station. This is Ryan’s first flight, while Matt is making his last mission, planning to retire upon return to Earth. They are both outside the space capsule when “stuff” happens. And what “stuff” it is. The special effects at this juncture in the film are spectacular, but so is the acting which ratchets up a notch here, too.
George Clooney has less to do in the film, but his presence has a comforting affect…whether intentional or not. His years as “ER’s” Dr. Ross serve him well in “Gravity.” The same comforting bedside manner helps lessen the tension for Ryan and the audience, too. Sandra Bullock is utterly fabulous as the nervous Ryan who has more mental toughness than she originally thinks. Her scenes,both inside and outside the capsule, are really fabulous and intense. While most of us can’t identify with a seasoned astronaut like Matt, we can all recognize some of Ryan in us, should we ever be in similar circumstances.
“Gravity” is unlike any movie you’ve seen. It’s powerful, riveting, in-your face film-making at its very best.