I finally saw Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), and found it utterly gripping from start to finish. Sandra Bullock stars as Ryan Stone, an inexperienced mission specialist on her first spacewalk. She’s accompanied by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), an old hand on his last mission. A routine service operation meets with disaster, however, when a fluke accident disables their shuttle and casts them adrift. What ensues is sheer, nerve-wracking suspense as the two heroes struggle to survive and get back to Earth.
Gravity is visually stunning and relentlessly suspenseful, riveting from its quiet early moments to its stirring finale. The spectacular look is matched by inventive sound design, an unnerving mix of explosive noise and chilling silences. Clooney brings his usual charismatic voice to the proceedings, but Bullock is the real star of the show, injecting a thinly conceived character with impressive depths. I did find myself questioning the scientific accuracy from time to time, but it wasn’t that distracting. Not nearly as distracting as the 3D glasses; alas, Gravity proved to me once again that even when well done, 3D just doesn’t bring that much more to the table. Those quibbles aside, though, I found it a thoroughly satisfying experience — a visual feast, and surely another Oscar-worthy turn from Bullock.