The long awaited film from Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuaron has hit the big screen in most of the territories around the world and has already made $122,323,175 at the box office. Yet in the UK it won’t be released until November 8th. London Film Festival audiences were treated to a gala preview of the critically acclaimed film starring Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first space mission. Veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky, played by Clooney is the only other person we really see in the film. On a routine spacewalk, disaster strikes leaving the shuttle destroyed and Stone and Kowalsky alone and running out of resources.
The story and the structure are refreshingly simple. Sandra Bullock leads the piece as a woman fighting for her life. It’s hard to feel anything other than empathy for the likeable Dr. Stone and this leaves you rooting for her survival as disaster after disaster arise. Bullock’s performance was impressive and highly emotional. George Clooney provides the humour and the occasional plot catalyst but his character is pretty much George Clooney in a space suit.
The other star of the film is the technical wizardry that Cuaron has employed. When you consider that the film is shot almost entirely in Shepperton Studios and the film is created almost entirely from visual effects, you begin to realise why it took 4 and a half years to make. It is, quite rightly, being lauded by critics as a masterpiece and anyone else making a space thriller may as well just go home.
Gravity is showing as part of the London Film Festival and goes on general release in the UK from November 8th.