92%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (5 Votes)

Gravity is a phenomenal film that should be viewed on the big screen

Aflonso Caurón’s latest film “Gravity” provoked emotions I thought were long expired from my cynical viewing nature. Stressed, saddened and scared for most of the 90 minutes, my heart was thumping as I experienced one of the best cinematic spectacles in recent memory. This is not merely a film, and it would be treasonous to label this as a movie. “Gravity” is an event that should not be missed while it is in theaters.

The special effects, greatly enhanced by the 3D attribute, will steal the headlines, however, it is the tone and acting that allows this work of science fiction seem so human. It is horrifying, yet beautiful – showing the wonder and attraction of space and at the same time revealing its punishing nature. For a film that shows characters floating around, literally detached from the rest of humanity, it is immensely intimate, and will grab you by the collar, because you don’t want to miss a second.

The script, written by Caurón and his son Jonas, seems formulaic at first and will have you predicting the outcome within 10 minutes, but will leave you doubting your prophecy time and time again. It begins with an extremely long single take which introduces Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, and Matt Kowalski, played by George Clooney. Stone is a regarded medical engineer on her first mission to space. She is all work and no play as she focuses solely on doing everything right in the loneliness of space. Her breathing and subtle facial expression give us a good feel for who she is within five minutes of meeting her. On the other hand, Kowalski is as well professional, but is on his final mission and is taking in the beauty of space and life. He plays country songs and tells tall tales of himself as he whizzes around with a jet-pack. Perfect casting, as Clooney delivers his performance with ease. A nod to the as well to the casting director to include Ed Harris – star of Apollo 13 – as the voice of Mission Control.

“Matt, it’s been a privilege,” Mission Control relays to Kowalski as the mission comes close to an end, indicating something horrific is on its way. That horror is debris from a neighboring space station and satellites that is flying towards them at bullet speed. Kowalski orders and abort of mission, but not all of them are able to make it back to the shuttle as Stone is flung out into the darkness of space. After several minutes of silence, only broken by the perfect acting from Bullock calling out for help accompanied by her panicked breathing, Kowalski reunites with her with the aid of his jet-pack. From here we see the dazzlingly display of Caurón’s use of 3D, coupled by the performance of the two actors, showing all they have is each other now as they search for a way back home.

Just when you think things can’t get worse, they do, but it is believable and not something like the Bourne films. This is Bullock’s best performance I’ve seen. She doesn’t have the Oscar-bait scenes, but her acting let’s us know who Dr. Stone is immediately and conveys her history in the extremely cramped and fast-paced film. “Gravity” is a film that must not be missed, and if you have the opportunity, see it on the biggest screen possible.

About The Author

Nate Davis

Nate Davis is the managing editor for Filmtakeout. Along with overseeing the content that gets posted on the site, Nate contributes a weekly column and review. Nate graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Journalism and Cinema. He worked for the University of Iowa's Center for Media Production as an intern, production assistant and writer. Nate also writes for a website devoted to covering soccer, and has a blog that includes all his work.