90 minutes of total concentration and extreme tension in space.
Director: Alfonso Cuaron | Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Budget: 100 million | Box office: 85 million (1 week)
I never paid too much attention to films‘ taglines, but this time it‘s just perfect. Like the title, it‘s simple and complicated at the same time. Don‘t Let Go. These words are constantly turning in your mind as George Clooney and Sandra Bullock try to survive in space. After initial calmness and silence and beautiful views of Earth, the race against time and seemingly impossible obstacles grips till the very end. I love films which have action happening in real time and it doesn‘t get better than this. No documentary or feature film in space from what I‘ve seen (including Apollo 13) had so convincingly portrayed the survival in this most inhospitable environment.
It‘s amazing that this film can be named as one man‘s project. Alfonso Cuaron, after attracting widespread praise for serious and unusual sci-fi film Children of Men, put all his attention and efforts to writing, directing and producing Gravity. As with couple of other big sci-fi films this year, it‘s great to see such original and complicated idea getting a necessary funding.
The most impressive thing about Gravity, besides it‘s idea and sheer intensity, is it‘s filming and production. It‘s like watching magicians performing on stage and trying to guess how did they do it. Or Inception. Together with his long time photographer Emmanuel Lubezki and visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, Cuaron tried never before used CGI and robot technologies for filming extremely complicated zero gravity shots, especially considering director’s favored long cuts style. And then added 3D, which even if rendered or done in post-production really helps to believe the weightlessness of bodies and objects. I especially loved the transition to first person view, somehow reminding a bit of the impressive in-car shot from Children of Men.
This of course was extremely complicated for actors too, especially Sandra Bullock, but she really did a great job with fine details such as breathing completing the immersive picture. She deserves the biggest praise and attention for that.
Last but not least is a soundtrack, perfectly surrounding this space journey. Hard to believe it was only the third full film score done by British composer Steven Price.
It‘s especially relieving to watch Gravity, because so many things could have gone wrong with such complicated concept. It‘s also a bit sad now that there‘s nothing so potentially impressive in the upcoming time to wait for. On the other hand, more serious and very interesting directors are willing to try sci-fi, so there‘s always hope for something unusual and amazing.