With the summer season of movies finally over and the Oscar season of cinema underway, Cuarón’s outer space thriller Gravity comes third in a line of contenders for the award after Prisoners and Rush. After years of science-fiction blockbusters, Gravity tries to ground our perceptions of outer space being one of the most deadly environments known to man.
Although it had a moderate budget of $100 million, it speaks and acts like a small-budget movie. Most of the money went to the CGI department where stunningly beautiful shots of Earth were crisply created in 3D. Some of the scenes you could just watch on hours on end in what could have been a National Geographic documentary in space. Unlike many post-production movies where the 3D constantly bombards your eyes, it was used very subtly and occasionally for the ‘pop-effect’. The cinematography, CGI, and sound design were truly excellent, and may be what win this movie the Oscars for those particular departments.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are two astronauts in the film depending on each other and their wits to survive. Although both of them act very well in this movie, Sandra carries the majority of the emotional weight. She may be nominated for Best Actress.
There is actually not much story to tell. The entire movie’s plot could be summarized in one sentence: “Sandra Bullock has to get back to Earth after a mission in space goes horribly wrong”, but the perilous journey and the lengths that she must go through make it a really suspenseful story. Think of it as Life of Pi in space, where one mistake will make your death swift and horrific. Due to this movie, I now have much more respect for our upper atmosphere and the danger it poses to humans who dare venture up there!
So did it deliver what it promised on the packaging? Gravity promised a suspenseful and accurate space story. After being bombarded with blockbuster sci-fi perceptions of space, this film brings that reality back in full force with masterful filmmaking. I recommend you see it in 3D.