Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in Gravity as two astronauts on a space mission gone wrong. Bullock’s character Dr. Ryan Stone is a serious and highly gifted, albeit nervous, medical engineer who is not enjoying her time in outer space and hides a tragic secret. Clooney’s Matt Kowalski, on the other hand,is a seasoned astronaut who appears born for these surroundings, exuding calm and confidence even in the face of extreme danger. When a freak accident during a routine operation leaves the two individuals contactless and adrift, they must access unknown skills, make selfless sacrifices, and battle extreme odds in order to survive.
As expected, Gravity received its much-deserved nominations for Cinematography, Film Editing, Production Design, and Visual Effects. There can be no denying that this film is visually stunning and, indeed, groundbreaking, and it will certainly receive several awards in recognition of this fact. Never before has an audience been given the opportunity to be integrated into such an unknown world to this highly detailed extent. Personally, however, I feel that the Best Picture and Direction hype for Gravity seems to have gone a bit too far. The film is certainly strong, yet is not as well rounded and overall perfected as fellow nominees such as Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. Sandra Bullock’s powerful performance definitely warranted her an Actress in a Leading Role nomination, a statement this critic makes with great surprise and pleasure, and she appears to be a front runner with her biggest competition being the equally strong Cate Blanchett from Blue Jasmine. Finally, the film also received nominations for Original Score, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing, as it was nearly as strong auditorily as visually, and that is saying a lot.
Gravity is one of those rare films that allows an audience to almost experience that which they never could without the magic of the movies. It is not only the stunning visual effects that make this feat possible, but also an incredible performance by its lead actress. The audience views many events directly from Bullock’s character’s point of view, and are able to feel her terror and elation by turns. Hopefully, Gravity will receive awards in these categories where it excelled and the recognition is deserved. Here is a stunningly accurate depiction of a world without that which we daily take for granted: gravity. This film should be experienced by anyone who has wondered what it would be like to travel into outer space, as it certainly delivers an unforgettable experience.