Starring George Clooney & Sandra Bullock
Since Kubrick set the bar in 1968, has anyone portrayed space with such beautiful, brutal majesty as 2001: A Space Odyssey? Space has been the go-to for VFX spectacle since forever, and understandably so. But Alfonso Cuarón’s Magnum Opus is a one-of-a-kind, portrayal of the final frontier.
Boldly for a big studio picture, it’s essentially just a two-hander. Clooney is his usual charming self. It would be satisfying enough to watch him read the dictionary for two hours. Bullock, on the other hand, starts off shaky until you realise she’s perfect for the role and by the end her performance is quite moving.
Remember in Children of Men, when we followed Clive Owen through a bomb site for about five minutes without the camera ever cutting? There was even a little bit of blood on the lens for a while. If you liked that, you’ll love this. There is loads of that in Gravity, like, actually loads. It’s an intensely captivating style, but the lack of cutting leaves some absolutely stinking dialogue hanging in empty space. In the absence of a conventional edit, it oddly feels like a staged reading of the script.
The CG and stereoscopic work are breathtaking and informed by quite a profound visual language. The stylisation would border on heavy-handedness, but each shot is so rich that the visual posturing will be forgiven as you eyegasm all over your Real-Ds™. Whether it’s style over substance is debatable, but the style is very substantial. The whole film oozes artistry and absolute pinpoint perfectionism. It’s just a shame such consideration wasn’t given to the script.