As misfortune stacks upon tragedy in Alfonso Cuarón’s deep-space survival thriller, the film’s stricken heroine greets her seemingly inevitable demise with a moment of deadpan humour.
Scripted by Cuarón and his son Jonas, the film is lean and runs to a sprightly 91 minutes, most of which will be spent marvelling at the virtuosity of the camerawork, editing and spectacular visual effects.
Avatar and Life Of Pi may have pushed the boundaries of 3D but Gravity propels the format into another universe. It is a film that demands to be seen on the largest possible screen, preferably IMAX 3D, which gives the impression of floating with the astronauts as they face life-or-death choices.
Commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a veteran of the space program on his final mission, provides encouragement to fellow astronaut Shariff (Phaldut Sharma) and specialist Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock). Gravity employs the latest ground-breaking technology to realise Cuarón’s startling vision of one woman battling against the odds in the one place that no one can hear her whimper and scream.
The complexity of the Mexican director’s vision, and the effortlessness with which he realises it, are jaw-dropping.