the fresh films reviews

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Gravity (2013)

Alfonso Cuarón
90 minutes
Alfonso Cuarón
David Heyman
Alfonso Cuarón
Jonás Cuarón

Cast includes:

Dr. Ryan Stone Sandra Bullock ½
Lieutenant Matt Kowalski George Clooney
Mission Control (voice) Ed Harris
Shariff (voice) Paul Sharma



A visual and thematic powerhouse, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity takes us on an adventure travel into space and tells us that life in and around the space stations orbiting our planet is beautiful and breathtaking. It is also harmless and peaceful, as long as everything goes according to plan. But when an emergency situation arises, every intrinsic human emotion of helplessness, isolation and mortality is multiplied out there, and the real horror that unfolds in space is not a battle against aliens and the unknown, but rather a battle against the laws of physics.

This is the genius of Gravity, the most stirring and realistic (save a couple of details)
sci-fi/human drama to come out of Hollywood in a long time. And space is merely the setting for it; the thematic backdrop, if you like. It's not treated as a blank canvas for filmmakers to smudge with their overdone rendition of the cliched space antagonist and ensuing battles, which is refreshing. Instead, Cuarón uses all his skill to project the sinister nature of the story: two astronauts fighting for survival against all odds in an environment they know all about in theory, but that their bodies are not designed to sustain in practice. It's existentialism at its best.

The screenplay, written by Cuarón and his son Jonás, is brilliant in all its simplicity, and brought to life by a superb performance from Sandra Bullock coupled with magnificent use of special effects. The result is probably the most visually astounding film of the CGI era, and Cuarón's confident spacing and elegant use of panning into POV-shifts and long takes that go from quiet to action-filled and back, gives us in the audience a feeling of floating around in space with our two protagonists. I have never seen a film conveying the feeling of weightlessness as well as Gravity does. The title says it all really.

I already mentioned Sandra Bullock, who gives her best performance since Speed here. No wait, strike that, her best performance ever. Her character grows into the predicament she finds herself in, and Bullock is able to project her struggles in a forceful, physical manner that leaves you unnerved and energized at the same time. Rarely have I walked out of the cinema appreciating the ground that I walk on more than I did after having seen Gravity. Wow!

Copyright © 13.11.2013 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang