I’m not going to say much about Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, there’s already been a lot written about it and there’ll be a lot more to come. And once awards season kicks in, it’ll be one of the films everyone is tipping. Absolutely right too.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play two astronauts on a regular (if space travel can ever be regular) mission to give the Hubble telescope a bit of a wash and brush up. But things go a bit titsup when the debris from a Russian satellite destroys their shuttle and leaves them stranded, floating round space like a couple of helium balloons caught in a draught. We don’t know much about them, and surprisingly they don’t know much about each other. Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) is all wisecracks and broken hearts (he’s pretty much George Clooney in space to be honest) and Ryan Stone (Bullock) has her own secrets that means she keeps people at arm’s length. Of course when you’re on the loose in space, an arm’s length can be the difference between living and dying, so you have to let something in sooner or later.
Despite a few touches of sentimentality, this is gripping stuff and Bullock in particular is excellent. It’s testament to her performance and the braveness of Cuaron’s direction that you never question the reality of their situation. The power of Gravity is that from the minute the film starts, you’re up there with them, feeling all the bumps, breathless with fear and exhilarated by the emptiness and splendour around you. It’ll give you goosebumps and take your breath away.
See it on the biggest screen you can – the effects are so good that I completely forgot I was watching it in 3D until a few spanners flew towards me. But there’s more here than just clever effects, Gravity has heart and soul and will drag you along with it into that dark empty space at the back of our minds that we try to forget about.