Space is alien territory, beautiful, forbidding and infinite. Director Alfonso Cuaron skillfully immerses us in the complex and thoroughly unfamiliar realm of space in his high-tension thriller Gravity. The opening sequence of the film begins with two astronauts, George Clooney (Matt Kowalsky) and Sandra Bullock (Dr. Ryan Stone) on a space mission high above the Earth’s atmosphere. We can see the Earth as a beautiful blue orb far below. This sets the stage for the entire movie. Music by Steven Price (Attack The Block), sound, silence and panoramic visuals of the Earth as seen from space are key elements that submerse us in this otherworldly reality. Quickly we discover that there has been a serious human error and that the little space station the astronauts are dependent on may be in the path of a deadly avalanche of space debris. Their survival will be reliant on split second actions and decisions. They nurture the unlikely hope that they and the space platforms they rely on will be spared from destruction. They are immediately thrown into circumstances that will quickly become life threatening. This is a movie about facing adversity, with survival coming down to unpredictable luck and the individual’s determination, physical and psychological strength. Gravity will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire 90 minutes.
The reality of this alien and highly technological world is created through astonishing visual effects, which where supervised by Tim Webber, known for his work in The Dark Knight. The story plays out across the infinite canvas of space although it was filmed entirely at the Shepperton Studios in London, England. Both Clooney and Bullock deliver powerful performances that are difficult because in many instances they are solo performances which were actually carried out on set in a 9 feet by 9 feet box. Their characters often appear alone on the screen and seem very isolated in the vastness of the hostile environment of space.
Gravity is written by Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron and has high production values from a team of experts including Director of Photography, Emmanuel Lubezki (Children of Men, The New World), production designer Andy Nicholson (Alice in Wonderland) and costume designer Jany Temime (Harry Potter series). It can be seen in 3D, 2D and IMAX from Warner Bros. Pictures. Gravity held its world premiere at the 70th Venice International Film Festival and goes next to TIFF in Toronto, Canada before opening in theatres Oct. 4th. This film is sure to be a huge winner at the box office and get attention come awards time.
Watch the press conference, ft. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock here.
Shown at this year’s TIFF13 : Toronto International Film Festival and the 70th Venice Film Festival (La Biennale di Venezia)