Gravity: The Best Science-Fiction Thriller in Years

Gravity is one of the best movies of the year. I would not be surprised if it actually does win best picture when the Oscars are held in March although I expect 12 Years A Slave will likely give the film a run at its money.

Alfonso Cuarón directed the film from a screenplay that he wrote with his son, Jonás. What he has done is made an a film that is not only masterfully directed but visually stunning as well. It’s an eerie and tense thriller, which just happens to be in the category of science fiction.

The film stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Ed Harris is one of maybe five other people who is heard but not seen in the movie. Clooney replaced Robert Downey, Jr. in the role but Sandra Bullock had it from the start.

Bullock stars as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer who is on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). On what should be routine spacewalk, disaster strikes the mission and they are forced to abort. The shuttle gets destroyed leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone and left to improvise.

They make their way to the International Space Station while Stone is losing oxygen but disaster strikes again.

I didn’t see it in 3D like so many film goers decided to do over the weekend. The film is 91 minutes long and it really says something about the film’s pacing when I do not look at my watch at all during the film. It’s been a long time since I have seen such a film.

After watching the movie, it’s hard to predict just who takes the Oscar for best actress but Sandra is going to be duking it out with Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) for sure. Judi Dench might also be up along with Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks). Clooney is certainly a possibility for best supporting actor but it’s doubtful that he will get a nomination given many other films of quality with stronger performances in the category.