‘Gravity’ 2013


Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Alfonso Cuaron makes you believe like no one else.

The visionary director behind one of my all-time favourite films and my pick for the greatest film of the 2000’s decade, Children of Men (2006), has created a monumental masterpiece from a startlingly simple premise. My first question after watching the film was why hadn’t anyone thought of making a movie about this subject matter before? Other films such as Apollo 13 and countless Hollywood blockbusters have dealt with similar subject matter to varying degrees. However I soon realised that this is the wrong question. One really should ask who else could have taken this scenario and not only made you believe its real, as if you personally are there experiencing the events, but also to give enough attention to small details to uncover eye-wateringly large truths and beauty. Other than Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, arguably the greatest film of all time, I cannot think of another director dealing with such subject matter that could make such a film, and even then I doubt if Kubrick could find the level of humanity that Cuaron finds. The film opens with: life is impossible in space which confronts us with our own humanity and what it means to live. The film is science fiction in only passing way. It is more of a taut, terrifying and yet hauntingly beautiful psychological drama. It works on many levels and could be described as a study in the law of gravity, a study in human endurance, and most profoundly a poetic study in what it means to be human. I’m not really a fan of Sandra Bullock but she transcends her celebrity beyond recognition to become a viscerally real character that represents all of us. Its special effects are poetic and some of the most seemlessly beautiful I’ve seen in film, always reminding us of the sheer beauty of the location no matter how dire the circumstances. This film is a game-changer. Cuaron achieves something no other director today can. The best film of the year and one of the best of this incipient decade.

10/10 A+


(The image in this post is one of the best shots of the film. A breathless Dr. Ryan floats in a fetal position with oxygen tubes mirroring umbilical cords within a circular door frame with the world drifting outside. This shot is as good as any in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A master shot)